Girls twice as likely as boys to experience cyberbullying

Posted on 10 December 2015

According to figures published this week by the Health and Social Care Information Centre, around twice as many girls (19 per cent) than boys (10 per cent) reported being a victim of cyberbullying in 2014.

These findings, which were taken from the first ‘What About YOUth? Survey’ which was completed by more than 120,000 15-years old, shows the increasing risks that girls face online.

In September of this year Girlguiding’s Girls’ Attitudes Survey 2015 found that cyberbullying is a top concern for girls with almost half (45%) of those aged 11 to 16 reporting experiencing bullying through social media.  In April 2015 the LSE’s Net Children Go Mobile survey highlighted that bullying is having a significant impact on girls, with girls almost twice as likely as boys (29% v 16%) to have experienced bullying in the last 12 months and research launched by the DfE during Anti-Bullying Week indicating that cyberbullying is on the rise, particularly for girls. 

With cyberbullying remaining a top concern for girls we, at Childnet, have been working on two areas that will help schools understand, prevent and respond to cyberbullying.    

Last year the Government Equalities Office announced £500K of funding for the UK Safer Internet Centre to help it to continue its important work supporting children, families and schools.  As part of this we will deliver an updated cyberbullying guidance for schools and new educational multimedia resources.  With a focus on gender these will both address the effects of social media on girls and boys.  With the aim of trying to build strong, resilient digital citizens the educational resources will cover key topics such as sexting, pornography, cyberbullying and peer pressure. 

The resources will be launched in March 2016 at our cyberbullying conferences in London and Manchester.  The conferences will bring together teachers, young people, social media experts, Ofsted and other engaging speakers to share best practices and practical strategies for preventing and responding to cyberbullying.

We are currently running an early bird offer (until the end of December) so to find out more and book your tickets visit: http://www.childnet.com/new-for-schools/cyberbullying-events

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