Internet harassment more common for Swedish girls

Swedish girls are twice as likely as boys to be victimized or sexually harassed via the internet or mobile phones, according to a new study.

Internet harassment more common for Swedish girls

The report, entitled Ungar & Medier 2008 (‘Youth & Media 2008’), also reveals that boys are more likely to have a computer in their room, while girls are more prolific when it comes to sending text messages.

The results of the study were presented by Inger Segerström and Ann Katrin Agebäck from Medierådet (Swedish Media Council) in an article published in the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper.

The study is in its third year and is based on accounts from 2,000 Swedish children and young people ages 9 to 16, and from 2,000 parents with children in the same age group.

According to the report, 97 percent of all young people use the internet in their free time, and for the first time it’s more common to have a computer than a television in a child’s room.

However more boys (53 percent) than girls (44 percent) have a computer in their room.

Girls are also consistently underrepresented when it comes to computer games and prefer games not characterized by competition, whereas boys prefer action-based games.

Eighty nine percent of Swedish boys and 71 percent of Swedish girls report having avoided unwanted internet chats about sex.

But 18 percent of girls said they’d been hazed or sexual harassed via the internet or mobile phones, while only 9 percent of boys reported suffered the same treatment.

Nearly all young people in Sweden have mobile phones, 96 percent of 12 to 16-year-olds and 77 percent of 9 to 12-year-olds.

Boys reported they get their news from television more often than girls, and more girls reported that they become angry, sad, or afraid by the news.