Cyberbullying Even More Prevalent Among Girls

A recent survey found that girls are especially affected by cyberbullying:

Tweens and teens are both flocking to social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook to stay connected with each other. While used correctly this can be a positive thing the sites are also being used as weapons to facilitate cyberbullying.

Norton Canada recently completed a study called The Norton Cyberbullying Survey asking Canadian parents about their children’s online experiences. A quarter of the parents said that their child had been involved in a cyberbullying incident. Of those children 66 percent of the parents said their child was a victim and 16 percent admitted that their child was the bully.
More shocking is that 32 percent of parents are unsure of their children’s online behaviours but 44 percent fear that their child’s online behaviour could involve coming in contact with an online predator.

While on the schoolyard the victims of bullies often are male when it comes to the cyberspace playground girls are the ones being bullied. Parents revealed that 86 percent of those bullied were their daughters compared to a rate of 55 percent when it came to their sons.

Computers are not the only tools being used as a weapon for cyberbullying. Cyberbullies turn to cell phones with middle schoolers using this tool more often.

Even though it’s not legal for children under the age of 13 to access social networking sites 43 percent of parents are comfortable when their children aged 8-12 have an account as long as the parents can supervise them. While almost half of parents claim they have an open dialogue with their children about their online behaviour 32 percent feel that they can’t control all the environments where their children have access to social networking. This access includes what their children are doing in school.

One wonders how parents can be comfortable with their underage children on Facebook considering these damning statistics.  Firstly, aiding your children in breaking a law is not a good example to set, and secondly, supervising your child’s internet and social media use is easier said than done.  Why does an 8-year old need a Facebook page anyway?

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