Project Partners/Funders

The Irish Research Council Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) COFUND Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme entitled CAROLINE.

Fund Award Amount


Project News

Project Overview

While previous research in the area of cyberbullying (or online harassment) has highlighted important issues for prevention (e.g., the need for friendships and strong social networks), there is little evidence available on the specific risk factors of online sexual harassment or exploitation. Such negative experiences are far reaching and some examples of what they entail include unwillingly receiving images of a sexual nature or having personal images shared online without one’s consent. Research is also limited on the role of gender in these experiences and in the effect they can have on a victim’s mental health. As such, the current project aims to conduct a large-scale cross-sectional study of the prevalence of online sexual harassment and exploitation in teenagers in Sweden and Ireland, with particular attention to gender and psychological outcome. This data will be collected with the help of a Swedish NGO called Friends. The work plan and research objectives falls under the umbrella of the Sustainable Development Goals outlined in the United Nations Agenda 2030. Academics and NGOs working with victims of sexual harassment and exploitation will benefit significantly from the results and reccommendations of this project.

Project Goals

Research Areas

Cyberbullying, image sharing, intimate image abuse


Sciacca, B., Mazzone, A., O’Higgins Norman, J., & Foody, M. (2021). Blame and Responsibility in the Context of Youth Produced Sexual Imagery: The Role of Teacher Empathy and Rape Myth Acceptance. Teaching and Teaching Education, 103, 103354.

Foody, M., Mazzone, A., Laffan, D.A., Loftsson, M., & O’Higgins Norman (2021). “It’s not just sexy pics”: An investigation into sexting behaviour and behavioural problems in adolescents. Computers in Human Behavior, 117, 106662.

Principal Investigator

Research Team

Magnus Loftsson
Prof James O’Higgins Norman
Beatrice Sciacca