Nearly half of women who use social media say they have been sexually victimised

July 14, 2017, British Psychological Society
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

These are findings being presented on Thursday 13 July at the British Psychological Society's 30th Psychology of Women conference in Windsor by Megan Kenny from University of Huddersfield.

A total of 261 women aged 13-72 took part in an anonymous online survey about their online experiences, with 46 per cent reporting sexual victimisation. The most frequent experience was being asked to share sexual images of themselves, followed by receiving unsolicited sexual images and requests to talk about sex.

Of those questioned 41 per cent had experienced threatening online, the most common being receiving offensive messages, 38 per cent had experienced humiliating contact and 15 per cent had experienced sexual, threatening or humiliating contact.

Some participants admitted being perpetrators of cyberviolence, with 13 per cent admitting to and 12 per cent admitting to threatening and humiliating behaviours.

The research also revealed that as a result of cyberviolence women reported negative feelings about themselves and perpetrators, also developed coping strategies to manage such negative contact which include the use of humour and defiance, as well as minimising behaviour and reporting indifference.

Ms Kenny said, "These results suggest that cyberviolence via social is a problem for female social media users, across various platforms and has lasting offline consequences. If you are a victim of this kind of behaviour document everything using screenshots, making note of dates and report the individual to the platform in the first instance. If you believe you are at serious risk of harm, ensure you have documented as much as possible and contact the police."

Explore further: Are we still jealous? Infidelity in the age of social media

Related Stories

Are we still jealous? Infidelity in the age of social media

July 6, 2017
When men and women find social media messages indicating that their partner has been cheating on them, they show the same type of jealousy behaviour as finding offline evidence that their partner has been unfaithful. This ...

US women 3x more likely to say they're bisexual: survey

January 7, 2016
Women are about three times as likely as men to say they are bisexual, and increasing numbers of US women say they have had sexual contact with other females, new data showed Thursday.

TV accentuates traditional women's roles at expense of their needs

May 11, 2017
College women who frequently watch television or who believe that the content is real, tend to endorse the gender roles that are portrayed often on TV, says a University of Michigan researcher.

Men's pornography use and its impact on intimacy

December 2, 2016
The more frequently men use pornography the less sexually intimate they are with their partners, latest University of Otago, Christchurch, research shows.

Recommended for you

Why the brain struggles to get off the sofa

September 18, 2018
About 30% of adults and 80% of teenagers today do not meet the minimum levels of daily physical activity for staying healthy, as recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Previous studies have already demonstrated ...

Do we trust people who speak with an accent?

September 18, 2018
You are in a strange neighbourhood, your cell phone's dead, and you desperately need to find the closest garage. A couple of people on the street chime in, each sending you in opposite directions. One person sounds like a ...

New era in virtual reality therapy for common phobias

September 18, 2018
Dick Tracey didn't have to visit a tall building to get over his fear of heights. He put on a virtual reality headset.

We are predisposed to forgive, new research suggests

September 17, 2018
When assessing the moral character of others, people cling to good impressions but readily adjust their opinions about those who have behaved badly, according to new research.

Being forgotten by acquaintances can affect self-esteem in the same way as being rejected

September 17, 2018
Psychologists at The University of Aberdeen looking into the experience of being forgotten have discovered that memory lapses can damage relationships.

Breakthrough in schizophrenia identifies importance of immune cells

September 14, 2018
Researchers from NeuRA and UNSW have made a major discovery in schizophrenia research that could open doors to new treatments, research and therapies.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.