Why Cyberbullying Affects Girls More than Boys

We’ve written before about how cyberbullying can be more insidious than physical bullying because it follows kids home. Educators and parents should also be aware that online bullies are significantly more likely to target girls than boys. According to the Cyberbullying Research Center, 36.7% of adolescent girls have experienced cyberbullying in their lifetimes, as compared to 30.5% of boys.

A new study from researchers at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, found that when it comes to cyberbullying among teens, girls are not only more likely to be victims than boys are, but they are more at risk of developing emotional problems as a result of cyberbullying.

What sort of emotional problems? At this year’s SXSWedu, the Ohio-based nonprofit Ruling Our Experiences released a report called the “Girls’ Index,” based on a nationally representative survey of more than 10,000 girls in grades 5–12. The most sobering takeaway for parents and teachers of girls was this: “Girls who spend the most time using technology are five times more likely to say they are sad or depressed nearly every day.”

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