Online Stalking Affects 26% of Women

Online Stalking Affects 26% of Women

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It may seem that men and women are on equal footing in terms of  harassment as most of the mild forms such as name-calling are fairly common for both sexes. However, this dies not make the internet a level playing field by any means. A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center found that while the number of young men and women (ages 18 to 24) reporting name-calling were relatively equal (50% for women, 51% for men) and a higher percentage of men, about 44%,  actually reported being harassed online compared to only 37% of women, the rates of online harassment still affects women far more than men, especially in its more dangerous forms.

Approximately 26% of women reported to Pew that they had been stalked online, and 25% reported being sexually harassed. This is much higher than for men. Only 7% of men reported stalking and 13% reported sexual harassment. These forms of online harassment are the most dangerous and emotionally damaging. Have a look at the below graph for a breakdown of Pew’s findings.

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These number do fall in line with other statistics. The National Center for Victims of Crime did a study a few years ago and found that 25% of women have been or will become victims of online stalking at some point in their lives. One thing that did vary a bit is when the poll respondents were asked to elaborate on their experiences. Some had a much different opinion on what actually constitutes harassment than others.  The survey gave every response an equal weight. One respondent even stated that being racist is a form of harassment, and that report was given the same weight as a threat of rape.

The one thing these studies many not effectively show is how much worse online harassment is for women than for men. The main reason for this is another statistic which shows that 38% of women reported the harassment to be extremely or very upsetting while only 17% of men reported the same. This is a fair indication that women are facing more severe and extreme forms of harassment than men.

This survey was conducted by Pew by asking 2,849 people via the internet about their personal harassment experiences. This survey was conducted over a 2-month period from May 30, 2014 to June 30, 2014.

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