10.5.15 | Sophie Kleeman
We all know that life for women on the Internet isn't a nice fragrant bouquet of flowers on a sunny afternoon. It's difficult, taxing and abusive. For some women, however, the task of dealing with this kind of behavior doesn't magically start in adulthood — it starts when they're teenagers.
According to a new survey by the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project, the experiences of teen girls on the Internet echo those of older women. After speaking with more than 1,000 teens aged 13 to 17, researchers discovered that 35% of teen girls have been forced to block or unfriend a person whose flirtation tactics crossed a line and made them uneasy. The kicker? Just 16% of boys reported facing the same issue.
"Just as adult women are often subject to more frequent and intense harassment online, teen girls are substantially more likely than boys to experience uncomfortable flirting within social media environments," the report's authors wrote.