Sat. May 25th, 2024

The Andrew Tate factor behind a toxic behaviour problem at Australian schools

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell May21,2024
This article contains references to sexual violence and offensive language.
Girls are afraid to talk and some have been pulled out of unsafe classes.
Female teachers are quitting the profession, burnt out from continual harassment.
Boys are intimidating girls and teachers in groups, making animal noises at them and hurling homophobic insults at LGBTIQ+ teachers.
This is the confronting picture provided by researchers who have documented a rise in misogynistic, homophobic, racist, and alienating behaviours and attitudes among some boys in Australian primary and secondary schools.
Monash University researcher in humanities and social sciences Stephanie Westcott told SBS News there has been a “sharp increase” in incidents over the past two years.
The issue became a national talking point this week as students were suspended and later expelled , after a list was posted ranking female students’ attractiveness, putting some in the category of “unrapeable”.
Victorian has led calls for a state parliamentary inquiry into misogyny in Victorian schools.
“Young people need to be in schools that take this issue seriously,” she told SBS News.
“The expulsion of these boys will not fix the problem but simply move it to a different school.”
Citing a spate of violent deaths of women this year, Purcell said: “We must recognise this as gendered violence, and schools as a breeding ground for serious crimes against women if there is no intervention.”
When Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced , there was no funding allocated for school programs.

Andrew Tate’s influence

Academics agree that while there’s a myriad of factors at play in schools, a lot of sexually charged, violent misogynistic rhetoric can be connected to one man: Andrew Tate.
Tate had before his accounts were shut down and labelled ‘hateful’. Many other accounts re-upload and widely share his videos on TikTok and other platforms.
He is and Romanian authorities have separately approved an extradition request, for Tate and his brother Tristan to be
They have denied the allegations.

However, the charges don’t really register as an issue with Tate’s young supporters and, if anything, have only increased his notoriety and popularity, Wescott said.

Wescott and her colleagues interviewed 30 female teachers for between 30 and 75 minutes for a recently published study on misogyny in schools, which sheds light on a broader national problem.
The study found “teachers uniformly observe that in the last two years boys’ problematic behaviour has become significantly more pervasive, more perverse, more targeted, and more brazen” due to the influence of Tate and other ‘manfluencer’ content creators.
Wescott said teachers relayed that many boys think of Tate as “a joke” and believe he’s only appealing to a vocal minority.
“Tate and other figures like him, their rhetoric is anti-women and anti-feminism, and they sort of make themselves out as victims of the contemporary culture,” Wescott told SBS News.

“Tate also talks about this idea of the ‘matrix’ (a conspiracy that a cabal of global elites is controlling the world) and he says to boys that feminism has taken a lot of their power away from them.”

She says for boys who might be feeling isolated or disaffected for other reasons, that message about victimhood can be quite appealing.
“The clear-cut messages (Tate spreads) about how to be successful and how to be a man in the world might also be appealing to them because the conversations at the moment around gender and sexuality and things like consent could be confusing for some boys.”
The impact of boys absorbing this anti-women rhetoric means teachers are reporting “sexism more frequently … and a lot of gendered slurs in classrooms, a lot of violent language,” Wescott said.
“Some teachers said girls have become really silent in their classrooms. They’re afraid to speak because they will get admonished or shut down.

“In one example, some girls had to be removed from a class they were really enjoying because it wasn’t safe for them in there. The boys wouldn’t stop harassing them.”

Teachers targeted

University of Adelaide senior lecturer Samantha Schulz is currently conducting an anonymous survey of South Australian teachers on classroom behaviours.
She says that, from the nearly 200 responses received so far, teachers were uniformly reporting an increase in sexist behaviour, as well as homophobic and racist comments, and even “a surfacing of really clear neo-Nazi symbolism.”
Teachers have reported “attacks on queer youth and any LGBTIQ+ positive representations in the school, like a Pride flag being ripped down and stomped on”, Schulz told SBS News.
“Kids have explicitly made homophobic threats to teachers … queer male teachers are saying they’ve experienced harassment too because they’re part of the gendered and heteronormative violence”.

Schulz said the prime minister’s omission of more funding for schools to deal with gendered violence is “such an enormous oversight”.

“Unless we actually rethink what the purpose of schooling is and align our educational policies accordingly, schooling really is ill-equipped to respond to what is only going to grow in terms of a social issue.”
She said some teachers indicated that they felt supported to deal with this behaviour, but many didn’t and some felt outright dismissed when they raised complaints.
“We need to be really valuing and protecting teachers in any kind of policy advancements or developments that flow from this,” Schulz said.

“We’re already haemorrhaging teachers and the approach that is being taken is really doing very little to support, value and nurture teachers.”

Respectful relationship programs

School programs designed to teach children critical thinking about gender stereotypes and online content vary from state to state.
Experts say schools need much more funding and resources for such programs and a comprehensive national approach is needed.
They also agree on the need to teach children digital literacy and critical thinking, to help them navigate social media algorithms that can feed them extremist content.
Finn Ó Branagáin is the CEO of Outloud, a youth organisation that runs workshops for primary school children aimed at preventing domestic violence.
Its Respect program for boys, which has been running for over 10 years and is partially funded by the federal government and Smith Family charity, centres on teaching boys about domestic violence and gender equality through music.

She says that, in the past few years, boys have presented more “concerning” attitudes at the beginning of the Outloud’s school program.

“We know from talking to teachers as well, that there’s definitely an increase in misogynistic attitudes, but we do know that having really honest conversations with the kids really, really helps.
“We don’t take an approach where we’re telling them, ‘this is what you should think and this is what you shouldn’t think’, but we’re asking them, ‘What do you think and why do you think that?’ And then helping to break down some of the stereotypes or misconceptions that they might’ve absorbed.”
Outloud works with 14 schools in NSW, running separate programs for girls and boys in grades five and six.
She said conversations about gender, consent and respect are essential but teachers may not be equipped to have them, so external programs are able to fill in the gaps.
SBS News has contacted Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese for comment.
Readers seeking support with mental health can contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636. More information is available at . supports people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
LGBTIQ+ Australians seeking support with mental health can contact QLife on 1800 184 527 or visit . also has a list of support services. Intersex Australians seeking support can visit Intersex Peer Support Australia at
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732, text 0458 737 732, or visit . In an emergency, call 000.

Men’s Referral Service on 1300 766 491.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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One thought on “The Andrew Tate factor behind a toxic behaviour problem at Australian schools”
  1. It is truly disturbing to see such deep-rooted toxic behaviors taking place in Australian schools. The safety and well-being of students and teachers are being compromised, leading to a hostile learning environment. Action must be taken to address and prevent this harmful conduct.

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