Half of female pharmacy students report sexual harassment and a quarter say they have suffered sexual assault as part of their studies, according to a survey presented on Wednesday February 2 by the National Association of Pharmacy Students (ANEPF).
“The findings are distressing and deplorable”, ANEPF President Numan Bahroun said at a press conference, affirming his “willingness to break the omerta”.
The survey, conducted between November and December 2021 among 2,103 pharmacy students, sheds harsh light on a sector where sexist and sexual violence – which unsurprisingly affects twice as many women as men – is legion.
More than one out of two female students (55%) has thus already been the subject of sexist remarks, from other students, but also from teachers, for example on the place of women ” in the kitchen “, the use of the morning after pill or abortion.
Nearly half of the students (48%) also report acts of harassment, often by other pharmacy students but also by teachers, some testimonies evoking the sending of “misplaced posts” or some “hair caresses” during classes. A flawed climate, conducive to acting out: more than one in four (27%) have suffered sexual assault, mainly during student parties.
“This trivialization of acts between students was a surprise”, according to Théo Vitrolles, spokesperson for the ANEPF, also surprised to find a third of female students harassed in pharmacies, where “We honestly did not expect to find this kind of violence”.
No amazement, however, at the hospital, where the results “shocking” (28% bullied female students) echo findings “similar” from a survey carried out in early 2020 by the National Association of Medical Students (ANEMF).
Which confirms that “This violence is more widespread in the health sector than in other university courses”, added Mr. Vitrolles, explaining this difference by the weight of the « traditions » and one “mimicry effect” facilitated by learning ” in isolation “.