SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Nearly half of the teenagers in the United States have been bullied or harassed online, with older teen girls being especially likely to report being abused.

Forty-six percent of U.S. teens from ages 13 to 17 have experienced some kind of cyberbullying behavior, Pew Research Center found in a study. This self-administered study was conducted between April 14 and May 4, 2022.

Physical appearance is one of the most common reasons for bullying, with the most commonly reported behavior in the survey being name-calling. Thirty-two percent of teens say they have been called an offensive name online or on their cell phones.

In addition, 22% said rumors have been started about them (teen girls are more likely to report this), and 17% said unsolicited explicit images were sent to them. Seven percent of them have also said that their explicit images have been shared without their consent.

Many programs and initiatives were implemented to help end cyberbullying, but about three-quarters of teens don’t think politicians or social media have done enough to address online abuse. However, teens believe that parents are doing the best at helping the situation, with 66% of teens saying their parents have done a “good” job, and one in five have said they did an “excellent” job. Also, 40% say teachers and 37% say law enforcement they have done a “good” or “excellent” job.

Cyberbullying can happen to anyone at any time while online. While there have been measures to make cyberbullying a crime across the U.S., not every state has taken the initiative. You can learn more about the different laws and policies of each state.