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


  • 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.

publication date

  • 2018