Two thirds of female students have been shamed for sexual behaviour

Research from has found that more than two thirds of female students have been shamed for their sexual behaviour. It was initially revealed that more than two thirds of female students have been shamed for their sexual freedom in the past and subsequently felt they had to change their behaviour (67%).

The most common forms of shaming that female students admitted they have received from others, for having sexual feelings and/or exploring and exhibiting them, include:

  • Sharing unconsented, explicit images and videos – 74% (of respondents attested to experiencing this).
  • Spreading false rumours about sexual practices – 68%.
  • Being mocked for sexual preferences/kink shaming – 52%.
  • Accused of being ‘masculine’ for liking casual sex – 33%.
  • Unwarranted physical harassment – 17%.

When asked about who was on the other end of this shaming, more than half of those surveyed said this typically came from male students (52% of female students said that this was the case). Findings also revealed that: 

  • 39% of female students say that they feel uncomfortable discussing their sexuality or sexual feelings with their parents due to fears of being shamed.
  • 34% of female students admit they have been shamed for their sexual escapades by other women in the past.
  • 18% of female students have experienced some form of shaming from university staff, whether that was through victim-blaming or by marginalisation.

Similarly, the research found that three fifths of those surveyed admit they feel anxious when it comes to openly discussing their sexual experiences due to concerns of experiencing differential treatment compared with their male counterparts (59%). 

With this in mind, nearly all female students said it’s important they empower each other to express their sexual feelings and freedom going forwards, as well as speak up for women that experience shaming also (95%). 

Tracey Coates, Sexual Wellness Expert at, said: “Unfortunately, many people still view self-pleasure and sexual exploration as something taboo and shameful – particularly for young women and, quite frankly, there is no place for that archaic mindset in today’s society. After all, consensual pleasure is nothing to be ashamed of! 

“By shaming female students for their sexual escapades, we drive them to shut down and be closed off when it comes to discussing anything they might be experiencing, which can be a worry; especially if their sexual health is at risk. We’re all about normalising safe sex and masturbation and urge female students to support each other in their sexual escapades and ventures. By celebrating sexual freedom, this will help to deconstruct some of the stigma that still largely exists around sexual experiences.”