Can men do more to make women feel safe? | Next Gen Poll

Youth Thinking | 14 Mar 2022

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Last week marked the anniversary of the murder of Sarah Everard by a serving Metropolitan Police Officer. One year on and the conversation around women's safety continues - has the tragic event triggered adequate change or is more needed?

In new research by Savanta ComRes conducted on behalf of Good Morning Britain, it was revealed that three in ten people (29%) agree that men do enough to make women feel safe when they're on their own, while three quarters (75%) agree men should actively seek to alter their behaviour to make women feel safer.

Highlights from the research:

  • More than half (55%) of men say they have consciously altered their behaviour 
  • More than two in five (44%) say they have called out a man for inappropriate behaviour
  • Younger men (aged 18-34) are significantly more likely to say they have done both 
  • Only 1 in 5 men (21%) have asked a woman how they can make women feel safer
  • 1 in 6 men (17%) admit to realising that they have personally behaved in a way which may have made a woman feel unsafe
  • The majority of men (84%) say they are concerned about women's safety 
  • 1 in 5 (21%) say that men should take primary responsibility for improving this
  • Most say the police (31%) or the government (29%) should be most responsible 
  • 1 in 10 (10%) say women should take primary responsibility

Gen Z view:

We pitched a similar question to a Gen Z audience (16-24-year olds) to see if these findings differed by age. In a quick poll of 230 young people over half (52%) disagreed that men do enough to make women feel safe and 2 in 5 (39%) feel that men do enough.  

Do you think men do enough to make women feel safe when they're alone?

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The majority of male respondents (70%) agreed that men do enough to make women feel safe, whereas most female respondents and those who identify in another way (65%) felt that more needs to be done. 

All the respondents who agreed that men do enough to make women feel safe, identified as male. 

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The findings from Savanta ComRes' research indicates that most men are concerned about women's safety, but their behaviour does not reflect their attitude.

When looking at Gen Z's opinion, there is a marked difference between males, females and those who identify in another way, with male respondents feeling that they do not need to do more to make women feel safe. 

Emma Levin, Senior Political Consultant at Savanta ComRes said:

"The kidnapping and murder of Sarah Everard while she walked home from a friends house in South London last March sparked a nationwide conversation about women’s safety in the UK. A year on, this poll indicates that most UK men are concerned about women’s safety and are aware that men have a role to play in helping women feel safer.”

“However, attitudes do not always translate into behaviour and while three quarters agree men should actively seek to alter their behaviour to make women feel safer, only around half say they have consciously done this and just one in five say they have asked women how they can do this. Clearly, more needs to be done to convert male concern into action to make women feel safer in the UK.”

Savanta aim to inform and inspire better decisions. To speak to one of their team, please get in touch here or contact our specialist youth researchers for more Gen Z insights. 


Related insights

Here's the latest Gen Z thinking from our blog: 

Plus we'll be dissecting more of data at this year's YMS LDN show.  In our presentation, we deep dive into our Gen Z tracking data from State of the Youth Nation to uncover differences within consumer sub-segments. Click here for more details about the event, including how to book tickets.


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