A global issueOnline gendered abuse is a worldwide problem. As of February 2022, 19 percent of women around the world said that they had seen comments or images online which suggested that men were superior to women. A further 19 percent of women reported having been sent unrequested comments on their physical appearance. As a result of harmful online contact, almost a third of women stated they had stopped themselves from saying what they think online, and over a quarter had experienced low self-esteem. Other reactions to online abuse included lack of sleep, panic attacks, and anxiety. Whilst men and women are both exposed to the possibility of online harm, women tend to encounter more abuse and are affected more severely.
Gendered abuse on social mediaGendered abuse is most likely to occur on social media than on any other online environment. According to a survey conducted in the United States in 2020, 81 percent of women said they had been harassed on social media. Furthermore, research in the United Kingdom in 2022 monitored the Instagram accounts of selected high-profile women and it was found that 6.5 percent of content sent to them via Instagram direct messages contained violating content. This violating content was most likely to be sent in video form. In addition, another UK study found that female contestants of the reality TV show Married at First Sight UK were almost twice as likely to encounter abusive Twitter comments as their male counterparts.
Although a large amount of online harassment is encountered on social media, women are also susceptible to experience abuse whilst playing online video games. As of June, almost half of all female U.S. online gamers surveyed said they had experienced identity-based harassment whilst playing online games.