Study: Women slut-shame each other on Twitter as much as men do

Last week, UK think tank Demos released a study that examined online misogyny and who, precisely, was behind it. Looking at tweets that used the words “rape,” “whore,” and “slut” that were sent from UK-based accounts between Dec. 26, 2013 and Feb. 9, 2014, the study found that more than 100,000 messages used the word “rape,” while 85,000 used the term “slut” and 48,000 used the word “whore.”

Naturally, a large proportion of the tweets were inoffensive – ie they shared news stories about rape or advocated against the use of misogynistic terms – but many were used in an offensive, off-handed way or worse. Around 12 percent of tweets that contained the word “rape” and 20 percent that contained “slut” or “whore,” seemed to be intended as a direct threat or insult. But the most surprising element of the research – according to the think tank – was the revelation that women were almost as likely to send tweets with the words “slut,” “whore” or “rape” – used both casually and offensively – as men were. Demos’ analysis found that accounts with male names used one of the words 116,530 times, while accounts with female names did so 94,546 times.