“This behaviour is wider than just the powerful men in the media world”

The Erasmus University, Rotterdam Campus

PhD candidate Mirthe Verbeek researches the effectiveness of two teaching programmes aimed at preventing sexually transgressive behaviour. RTV Rijnmond recently asked her how she views the episode of BOOS from an educational perspective. “That John de Mol did not address the men but said that women should feel less embarrassed to report, is part of a broader social trend.”

Opening the conversation between parent and child

“Just watching the episode may not be very educational, but the fact that such an episode can open the conversation between parents and children at the kitchen table is very important,” Verbeek says. “It's a good way to start the conversation about sexual behaviour and sexually transgressive behaviour - a subject that is still talked about too little. What the programme does not cover, but what I think is important to mention: this behaviour is broader than just the powerful men in the media world. It occurs throughout society. Anyone can cross someone's line.”

How do you look at John de Mol's reaction?

“De Mol is now being dragged through the mud. What he implies by emphasising women and their willingness to report, rather than the suspected perpetrators, is how many people think. I also notice this in my research. The curriculum I am researching has a male variant and a female variant. You see that schools buy the teaching package for women much more often than the teaching package for men. Schools often make this choice for financial reasons: there is only a limited budget. They then find it more logical to protect the girls instead of teaching the boys how to behave. That's the same thinking.”

Read the full article at RTV Rijnmond (in Dutch).

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