Deakin University

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A Phenomenological Investigation into Cyberbullying as Experienced by People Identifying as Transgender or Gender Diverse

journal contribution
posted on 2023-02-08, 04:57 authored by S Evelyn, Elizabeth ClancyElizabeth Clancy, Bianca KlettkeBianca Klettke, Ruth TatnellRuth Tatnell
Cyberbullying can present a serious risk for adolescents and young adults, with severe effects on victims including adverse mental health outcomes and increased risk of suicide. Transgender and gender diverse (TGD) individuals are significantly more likely to experience cyberbullying. However, little is presently known about the lived cyberbullying experiences of TGD adults despite the prevalence of cyberbullying experienced by the TGD community. TGD participants (n = 66, M = 24 years) were recruited through snowball sampling and completed an online questionnaire as part of a larger study, which included qualitative questions regarding cyberbullying. Participants reported that cyberbullying was experienced predominantly on social media sites and was largely anonymous. The content was often physically and sexually threatening and heavily transphobic. Additionally, some cyberbullying experienced by TGD individuals was perpetrated by other TGD individuals and focused on the identity policing and gatekeeping of TGD spaces. Participants reported cyberbullying evoked negative emotions, and they often responded by either arguing with or blocking the perpetrators, thereby demonstrating resilience. Some participants sought social support in response to cyberbullying, which acted as a protective factor. Findings reveal specific harms associated with cyberbullying as experienced by TGD individuals and high-light the need for further research and targeted support.



International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health