Cyber Bullying: Modern Day Harassment

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Cyber Bullying: Modern Day Harassment
Stephanie Cribb-Wickham
COM/156 University Composition And Communication II
April 29, 2012
Dr. Elyse Berube

Cyber Bullying: Modern Day Harassment
When you think of a bully, you picture a school yard where one child is threatening another child for their lunch money. Unfortunately, bullying is no longer idle threats made face-to-face in the school yard. It has a new face. People can bully someone through text messages, blogs, social networking sites, and even e-mail. This is called cyber bullying. Children can no longer fake an illness to keep from having a confrontation with a bully at school. It now follows them where ever they go because of mobile technology. Cyberbullying has become the new way for school-age children and teenagers to target and harass an individual who may be less fortunate or different than themselves by attacking them through means of text messaging, chat rooms, or through social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Victims

Most victims of cyberbullying are bullied at school. In an article published in the American Journal of Public Health, “A majority (59.7%) of cyberbullying victims were also school bullying victims; 36.3% of school bullying victims were also cyberbullying victims.” (Schneider, 2012). Sociodemographics, age, sex, sexual orientation, and sexual promiscuity are several factors that promote cyberbullying among students. Bullied at School

Schools where there is a large inequality in socioeconomic status amongst its students, no matter what country the school may be in, find a higher risk of cyberbullying. (Sbarbaro & Enyeart-Smith, 2011). Most of these schools are found in large cities where children from every type of socioeconomic background attend the same school. While it appears that students that attend a school with high minority students in attendance tend to be bullies as well. Sbarbaro and Enyeart Smith also speculate that the way a child is raised determines if a child is bullied or is the bully. Students a large group of friends tend to be bullied less than those who do not, but are more likely to be the bullies. While students whose parents are overprotective or extremely active in their children’s school career are less like to be bullies, and more likely to be bullied (Sbarbaro & Enyeart-Smith, 2011).

Age and sex play a role in cyberbullying, usually middle school age students. “Although there is a decreasing prevalence of traditional bullying from middle to high school, some studies suggest that cyberbullying victimization increases during the middle school years..” (Schneider, 2012). It is also more prevalent with male students than female students. It is believed that this is because male students are preparing the hierarchy for their high school years. Most of those who cyber bully others are looking to instill fear in their victims. Their victims are those that seem to be weaker or less popular than their friends (Feinberg & Robey, 2009). Sexual Orientation and Reputation

One of the more common overlooked victims of cyberbullying is those of nonheterosexual orientation. A study conducted by Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) found that 22% of students suspected or publically proclaimed to be Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or Transgender are bullied as well (Sbarbaro & Enyeart-Smith, 2011). Most of the bullies that target nonheterosexual victims, do so by the way they were raised by their parents. There are parents that raise their children believing that Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or Transgender in sexual orientation are mentally ill. So in response to their upbringing, children will target nonheterosexual people believing they are doing the right thing by trying to scare their victims straight.

Sexual intercourse is down among teen aged children. According to an article in the Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, “…oral and anal sex...
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