Forensic Sciences

Gender Differences in Instances of Online Abuse and Perceived Online Security

Article Number: NTS704617 Volume 04 | Issue 02 | October - 2021 ISSN: 2581-4273
17th Aug, 2021
12th Sep, 2021
24th Sep, 2021
12th Oct, 2021


Oshin Dixit, Ananta Chaudhary


In today's era, the internet is omnipresent and plays indispensable part in nature and can be accessed through numerous mediums; a few of them being smart phones, tablets, mobile phones, computer systems, televisions and laptops. Constantly developing technology led to competitive market prices, making mobile phones affordable and not as big of a luxury they were once considered. To prevent Cyber Abuse, it is crucial to understand why it happens and what its causes are. In researches it is found that women are more likely to receive some form of cyber abuse when compared to men. Furthermore, it was seen that women were also more likely to receive abuse of a sexual nature, in comparison to men. It can be inferred that most forms of harassment that female users faced were non-violent yet sexual in nature. As the Victims of abuse have legal options available to them, there is still a large scope of improvement. Law enforcement agencies are not aware of the sensitivity they must show to different victims of Cyber Abuse. Training programs inculcating the importance of soft skills in the police force is necessary. Secondly, in cases of revenge porn specifically a female police officer may be more capable of communicating with the victim. Furthermore, the results of the research indicated the cyber world as being safer for men in comparison to women, but considered the identical threat sent to gender counterparts of the same industry as more severe for men, but not for women. Keywords: Cyber bullying, Harassment, Victimization, Trolling, Hacking.


The internet is omnipresent in nature and can be accessed through numerous mediums; a few of them being smartphones, tablets, mobile phones, computer systems, televisions and laptops. Change in attitude towards technology has made social media websites like Facebook a household name. Other sites such as Twitter, Instagram has gained popularity for voicing an opinion and for uploading photos/videos. For now, men dominate India's total Internet usage with 71%, with women contributing to a mere 29%. As per Crime in India (NCRB, 2016), there has been a 6% rise in reported cases of Cyber Crime in the year 2015-2016. It is also seen that female face more harassment online as compared to men (Foody et al., 2015). During 2016, 8.6% of the cyber-crimes were motivated by revenge, whereas 5.6% were an insult to the modesty of a woman (Kowalski and Limber, 2013).

The conviction rate was at 16.7%, and the pendency rate at 94.2%. These are a summary of reported crimes only. The Cyber World was first made open to the public in India in on 15th of August 1995 by Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (VSNL), now Tata Communication Ltd. By March 1998, their users reached 90,000. In October 2017, India boasted of 471 million Internet users and is predicted to reach 500 million in June of 2018 which would indicate a growth of 6.15% in seven months. According to the ASSOCHAM Resurgent Study (2017), the year 2016 saw nearly 69 million online consumers, a number which is predicted to hit 100 million by 2017 (Banerjee, 2018). With the updating technology and the rise in cyber-crime as well. Cyber-crime is an online behavior which is reasonably likely to have a seriously threatening, intimidating, harassing or humiliating effect on a person. It is behavior that threatens to hurt a person socially, psychologically or even physically." In our country though there are many laws regarding cybercrime. But still researches have reflected that the cases of cyber abuses are increasing (Kovacs et al., 2010).

Research was conducted in attempted to understand whether increased usage of social media led to increase in cyber abuse. However, their findings predicted that certain personality characteristics are more likely to influence cyber victimization than social media usage (Sengupta and Chaudhuri, 2011). Another research, tested the effect of anonymity on cyber aggression and found that participants who remained anonymous were more likely to react aggressively against others, and even more in the presence of other aggressive models (Zimmerman and Ybarra, 2016) Studies did conclude that women were more prone to being addicted to their smartphones than men. It was further noted that men were likely to check their phones only during breaks and for making calls or texts (Lee, 2016).

It has been reported that a large proportion of India’s new internet users is likely to be female who are rural, regional language speakers, compared with existing users who are mostly young, urban and professional (, 2016). These further stresses the need to protect women from abuse in the cyber world. 


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Kovacs, A., et al. “Don’t Let It Stand!” An Exploratory Study of Women and Verbal Online Abuse in India. New Delhi: Internet Democracy Project, 2010.

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How to cite this article?

APA StyleDixit, O. (2021). Gender Differences in Instances of Online Abuse and Perceived Online Security. Academic Journal of Forensic Sciences, 04(02), 01–05. 
Chicago Style
MLA Style

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