Roughly half of all U.K. young girls receive harassment or online bullying according to a new study reported on by the Guardian. The study asked one-thousand young people to report on their experiences online. As it turns out, about half of the girls in the survey said that they had been harassed or bullied online.
What may be surprising to some is that the same survey found that about forty percent of young U.K. boys also reported abuse. Plan International UK is the charity that asked for the poll to be conducted. They are a charity that seeks to end sexism in the world. The findings point out the vast number of children in the United Kingdom that could be at risk online. However, it should also be noted that the type of bullying and harassment received by each sex is a little different.
Girls are said to receive abuse in the form of the type of harassment that one might expect out on the street. In other words, they are told to shut up about their opinions, are harassed about what type of clothing they are wearing (or not wearing), etc. On the other hand, boys tend to receive direct threats of physical violence against themselves. They also experience higher levels of harassment about sexual orientation issues.
Both boys and girls in the United Kingdom reported in strong numbers that they have changed their behavior online in order to try to put an end to the harassment. The numbers showed that seventy-three percent of boys and fifty-nine percent of girls said that they have changed at least some of their online behaviors because of harassment.
Social media has a stronger impact on girls in terms of how they view themselves. A much larger percentage of those surveyed said that they felt pressure to change their appearance to suit some demand from the online world.
The sad thing about all of this is that cyber-bullying can have a real-life impact on people’s emotions. The words are out there forever, and that means that the victim can return to see them time and time again. Since it never goes away, they may feel victimized over and over again.
The organization would like to see the general public stop brushing off these issues. It is so easy to claim that they are a free speech issue or not really that important. Of course, nothing could be farther from the truth. We all must stand up for what we know is right and help out those who may not have a voice to help themselves says the organization.