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Words matter

Women more likely than men to use misogynistic language while insulting women on Twitter

October 20, 2016

Women are more likely than men to use misogynistic insults on Twitter, according to a new study from social intelligence company Brandwatch.

The study, conducted on behalf of anti-bullying charity Ditch the Label, used automated and manual data analysis tools to scrutinize nearly 19 million public tweets, searching for instances where misogynist terms were used to “intentionally [attack]” women or to “[undermine]” their womanhood. By these metrics, 52 percent of misogynistic tweets were written by women, and 48 percent were written by men.

Ed Crook, the lead researcher of the study, said that while male Twitter users were more likely to insult women through objectification — using language relating to female anatomy, intelligence, and sexuality — women were more likely to attack other women by criticizing their appearance and accusing them of promiscuity. Attacks based on physical appearance and alleged promiscuity, the researchers noted, were rarely if ever directed at men by anyone.

According to Crook, the findings showed that campaigns aimed at encouraging gender equity should be targeted not only at men, but at women also. In May, a similar study conducted by think tank Demos found that women posted about 50 percent of all misogynistic attacks on Twitter.

Read the full story at Mashable.


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