Looking at girl’s digital lives this International Women’s Day

08 Mar 2017 Becca Cawthorne

Wednesday 3rd March 2017 marks International Women’s Day. International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. 

Images in girl’s digital lives

This Safer Internet Day we conducted research asking young people about their use of images and videos online and the impact that they have in their digital lives. It found that teen girls are particularity likely to face pressures in our image-driven digital culture. On average young people take 12 selfies+ before they are happy to post one online, and 51% of girls said they worry about how attractive they look when they share photos online.

45% of young people aged 8-17 years old have used a filter in the last year to make themselves look better, with 52% of girls saying they have done this compared to 38% of boys.

We found that 13-17 year old girls are particularly likely to experience pressures about how they look, with almost two thirds (61%) of them saying they worry about how attractive they look when sharing photos online and nearly half (47%) of them saying they have felt sad about their appearance after seeing a particular image or video online.

Girls using the internet to Be The Change

Positively 59% of girls said that they have done something online to show support to a certain group. This Safer Internet Day  we asked young people what they had done to ‘Be the Change’ and make a positive difference online. This is what they said:

Online hate

In the 2016 Better Internet For All report the UKSIC ran a study of children’s experiences of online empowerment and online hate.

The study found that online hate is something that 38% of girls worried about, this is in comparison to the 31% of boys who said they worried about online hate. It also found that 77% of girls asked said that online hate made them more careful about what they share online.

The research suggests that girls would particularly benefit from being empowered with skills, knowledge and confidence to take positive actions – from reporting abuse online to proactively creating a better and kinder internet.

Childnet have created the Crossing the Line: PSHE toolkit, a resource for teachers that covers some of the issues mentioned in this blog. 

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