Students Share Perspectives on Gender Inequality

Currents magazine gave Seaver students the opportunity to share their perspectives on and experiences with gender inequality and feminism. A total of 221 students responded, including at least 134 women and at least 81 men. Here’s what the data reveals.

Almost 20% of students said they did not identify as feminists, and 14% were unsure.

About half of students said a feminist is someone who seeks to minimize patriarchal institutions, 29% said it is someone who believes men oppress women and 8% said it is someone who believes women are superior to men.

One male student defined a feminist as “Someone who is cranky, malcontented, and upset other people aren’t. Someone who seeks to destroy men, their culture, their security, and their society irrespective if men are intentionally oppressing them.”

When asked which words they associated with feminism, some students reported having a negative connotation of the term.

Nearly 80% of students think that men and women are treated unequally today.

Roughly 36% of students said feminism has excluded minorities, and 24% were unsure.

Almost 36% of students said their faith or place of worship limits women’s roles, and 14% were unsure.

Fourteen percent of students said the Me Too movement has had a mostly negative impact on society, and 39% were unsure.

Approximately 75% of students have been criticized for doing something outside of their gender norms.

Over 90% of women said they have felt unsafe because of their gender, while over 90% of men said they have never felt unsafe because of their gender.

When asked what, if anything, they do to stay safe, female students responded with many different answers:

  • Be cautious and aware of surroundings
  • Stay with a group of friends; never go anywhere alone
  • Share location with friends and family
  • Take self-defense classes
  • Wear modest clothing
  • Hold keys between fingers to use as a weapon
  • Check back seat of car before getting in, and lock doors
  • Lock all doors and windows in home
  • Carry charged phone
  • Avoid eye contact with strangers
  • Don’t leave the house after a certain time
  • Carry a drug tester strip for drinks, and never leave drinks unattended
  • Carry pepper spray, mace, rape whistles, and/or tasers
  • Talk on the phone while walking alone

More than 70% percent of women said they have experienced microaggressions because of their gender, compared to only 46% of men.

Eighty-four percent of female students said they have been catcalled.

Seventy-six students, or 35%, said they have been sexually assaulted. Eighteen, or 8%, were unsure.

Almost 50% of students said they do not believe that their Pepperdine education has sufficiently taught them about women across history or literature. Almost 25% percent were unsure.

Similarly, nearly half of the students said they have not had sufficient education on reproductive health.

Sixteen percent of students said they do not believe women should have access to abortion, and 17% were unsure.