Since February, a group of South Australian researchers have been advertising a survey on a facebook group for Adelaide teachers. The survey asks a series of questions about what teachers have experienced in terms of sexism and other anti-social views in their schools. So far, 132 (mostly female) teachers have responded. The emerging results are eye-opening.

As one high school teacher reports: “Boys are increasingly using misogynistic language towards female students and teachers, telling them to ‘make me a sandwich’ [a well-known misogynist meme]”. Other teachers refer to boys describing women as “rapeable” or making barking or meowing sounds at female teachers and peers.

Perhaps even more disturbingly, teachers report male students are working in groups to physically intimidate their female teachers and peers. This includes rushing women down stairs or coming up to their car windows. As one teacher noted, “They do this when I am alone and there are no witnesses.”

As researcher Samantha Schulz writes today, we need to look at the whole of our society when considering how to stop gendered violence in Australia - this includes our schools. Her ongoing study is part of a growing body of research showing the pernicious impact of misogynistic online influencers, who argue men are superior to women. Schulz says we need to do more than existing consent and respectful relationships education: “we need a national response to anti-social language and behaviours in schools”.

And as violence against women is set to dominate discussions at National Cabinet today, politicians and the public alike will be wondering what can be done to solve this problem.

As legal experts Rosalind Dixon and Emma Buxton-Namisnyk write in their piece today, the issue is one of both laws and culture. Any solutions will need to be multifaceted and comprehensive, and cover both the short and long term. They write:

“Institutional change may be the only hope for our sisters and mothers and it will be cultural change that benefits our daughters.”

Judith Ireland

Education Editor

‘Make me a sandwich’: our survey’s disturbing picture of how some boys treat their teachers

Samantha Schulz, University of Adelaide

Since February, researchers have been surveying South Australian teachers about sexist views among their students.

Violence against women is both a legal and cultural problem. What can we do to address it?

Rosalind Dixon, UNSW Sydney; Emma Buxton-Namisnyk, UNSW Sydney

Gender violence has captured the attention of policy makers and the public. There’s many things that can be done, both in the short and long term.

Chalmers outlines a more ‘risk-based’ foreign investment policy and guardrails around Future Made in Australia

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra

The treasury will be given more resources to scrutinise investment proposals. In a speech, Treasurer Jim Chalmers will outline the guardrails around the new Future Made in Australia Act.

Australians lose $5,200 a minute to scammers. There’s a simple thing the government could do to reduce this. Why won’t they?

Peter Martin, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University

The UK is about to force banks to reimburse payments made “because of deception by fraudsters”. Australia’s government isn’t keen.

Humza Yousaf, Scotland’s departing first minister, and the art of the resignation speech

Colin Alexander, Nottingham Trent University

What the brevity and humble tone tell us about the resigning first ministe'rs hopes for the future.

Will New Zealand’s school phone ban work? Let’s see what it does for students’ curiosity

Patrick Usmar, Auckland University of Technology

Smartphones are undoubtedly a distraction to learning. We should keep an open mind about the school ban and give teachers and students time to see what works.

The Eta Aquariid meteor shower is about to peak and could be the best this century – here’s how to catch it

Jonti Horner, University of Southern Queensland; Tanya Hill, Museums Victoria Research Institute

The Eta Aquariid meteor shower peaks each year in early May, but this year it should be particularly good, thanks to dark skies and extra activity.

Australians are more likely to have partners who don’t share their political views than 25 years ago. Are we becoming more tolerant?

Intifar Chowdhury, Flinders University

Half of romantically partnered Australians are coupled with people who don’t share their political views – particularly Generation Z and millennials. Why? Our expert has some ideas … and the figures.

GP clinics are going to pay more payroll tax, which could reduce bulk billing

Stephen Duckett, The University of Melbourne; Fiona McDonald, Queensland University of Technology

Greater payroll taxes for GP clinics means lower profits. Clinics will seek to make up the shortfall in revenue by other means – and this could include reducing the number of patients they bulk bill.

Psychological drama, wilderness reality and everyone’s favourite dog: the best of streaming this May

Erin Harrington, University of Canterbury; Edith Jennifer Hill, Flinders University; Joy McEntee, University of Adelaide; Liz Giuffre, University of Technology Sydney; Phoebe Hart, Queensland University of Technology; Stuart Richards, University of South Australia

It seems to be a time of old favourites: this month we have new seasons, adaptations, and a documentary on childhood television memories.

Wondering what Australia might look like in a hotter world? Take a glimpse into the distant past

Tim Flannery, The University of Melbourne; Josephine Brown, The University of Melbourne; Kale Sniderman, The University of Melbourne

The fossil record suggests Australia may be much wetter, and look far different, in centuries and millenia to come.

Politics + Society

Health + Medicine

Science + Technology

Environment + Energy

Arts + Culture


Featured jobs

View all
The Conversation AU
Melbourne VIC, Australia • Full Time
List your job

Featured Events, Courses & Podcasts

View all
Movement and Place Course

30 May 2024 • Sydney

Promote your event or course

​Contact us here to list your job, or here to list your event, course or podcast.

For sponsorship opportunities, email us here