Sexuality, gender, and culturally diverse interpretations of cyberbullying

Veronica Sheanoda*, Kay Bussey, Tiffany Jones

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


The cyberbullying field has quickly expanded in the past 20 years and especially includes strong emphases on diverse and marginal youth groups. However, the field’s literature defines cyberbullying in widely diverging ways while lacking consideration of how diverse youth groups themselves define and apply the term cyberbullying. This article aimed to consider how culturally, sexuality and gender-diverse youth understandings, experiences and interpretations of cyberbullying can be used to redress gaps in current academic notions of cyberbullying. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 19 young people exploring their understandings, interpretations and experiences of cyberbullying. Participants were aged 18–25 years and self-identified as from a culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) background and/or part of the LGBTQIA+ community. Interview question themes explored participants’ social media engagement, online communities and cyberbullying experiences. NVivo was used to perform thematic analyses. Findings largely suggested that the confusion regarding the term and definition of cyberbullying among researchers is also reflected in the population of diverse young people’s understandings and interpretations of cyberbullying. Whether these conflicted definitions were due to the confusion among youth populations or because academics and policymakers have failed to communicate a clear cyberbullying definition to the public was unclear. Considerations and future directions around the language and behaviours that should be included in a definition of cyberbullying are suggested to more clearly communicate the concept to future respondents and to the wider community.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154–171
Number of pages18
JournalNew Media and Society
Issue number1
Early online date14 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2021. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • culture
  • cyberbullying
  • diversity
  • gender
  • sexuality
  • social
  • media
  • social media
  • internet
  • bullying
  • sexual orientation
  • cultural and linguistic diversity
  • race
  • ethnicity
  • cyber
  • youth


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