Correlates of in-person and technology-facilitated sexual harassment from an online survey among young Australians

Caitlin H. Douglass, Cassandra J.C. Wright, Angela C. Davis, Megan S.C. Lim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background Technology-facilitated sexual harassment is an emerging phenomenon. This study investigates correlates of sexual harassment among young Australians. Methods: Participants aged 15-29 were recruited for an online survey. Participants reported how often in the past year they experienced sexual harassment in person, via phone, social media and dating apps. Correlates of in-person and technology-facilitated sexual harassment were identified using logistic regression. Results: Of all participants (n = 1272, 70% female), two-thirds reported sexual harassment in person, 34% through social media and 26% via phone. Of participants who used a dating app in the past year (n = 535), 57% experienced sexual harassment. Sexual harassment in person was correlated with being female (aOR = 9.2, CI = 6.9-12.2), trans and gender diverse (aOR = 2.6, CI = 1.2-5.7) and being aged 20-24 years (aOR = 1.5, CI = 1.1-2.1). Heterosexual identity reduced the odds of sexual harassment in person (aOR = 0.7, CI = 0.5-0.9). Technology-facilitated sexual harassment was correlated with female (aOR = 3.5, CI = 2.6-4.6) and trans and gender diverse identities (aOR = 3.0, CI = 1.4-6.5). Older age [25-29 years (aOR = 0.5, CI = 0.4-0.8)] and heterosexual identity (aOR = 0.7, CI = 0.5-0.9) significantly reduced the odds of technology-facilitated sexual harassment. Conclusion: Young people identifying as female, trans and gender diverse and non-heterosexual are at risk of in-person and technology-facilitated sexual harassment. Service and technology providers, academics, and policy makers must respond with innovative strategies. Journal compilation

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-365
Number of pages5
JournalSexual Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes

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