Definitions

Asexual

An asexual person is someone who does not experience sexual attraction. Unlike celibacy, which people choose, asexuality is an intrinsic part of who someone is.

Biphobia

Biphobia is fear or dislike directed towards bisexual people – or those assumed to be bisexual – based on who people are and their perceived lifestyle, culture or characteristics, whether or not an individual has that lifestyle or characteristic. Biphobia can be direct – a word or action that is hurtful, violent or unfair. It can also be indirect – for example, excluding people because of who they are.

Block

Blocking someone is when you stop them from seeing or commenting on whatever you post on your social networking profile.

Cisgendered

Someone who is cisgendered has a gender identity that matches the gender that they were assigned at birth. There is a presumption that this sense of identity will evolve along binary lines and be consistent with someone's sex appearance.

Cyber-abuse

Cyber-abuse is any sort of abusive behavior that happens online and/or through the use of electronic technology.

Cyber-bullying

Cyber-bullying is the use of any sort of electronic technology to harass or harm someone. It includes behavior such as abusive written language, trolling (see below) and cyber-stalking.

Cyber-stalking

Cyber-stalking is a pattern of online behavior that is the long-term, intrusive and persistent pursuit of one person by another, making the victim feel frightened and distressed.

Doxxing

Doxxing is the publishing online of personal information about someone. This information has usually been researched and often stolen or hacked from someone’s personal online accounts.

Gender identity

Gender identity means someone’s sense of themselves as being a boy/man, girl/woman, both or neither. Everyone has a gender identity or identities, which do not always stay the same throughout someone’s life (see ‘trans’ below). Some people do not define themselves as male or female.

Homophobia

Homophobia is fear or dislike directed towards lesbian and gay people – or those assumed to be lesbian or gay – based on who people are and their perceived lifestyle, culture or characteristics, whether or not an individual has that lifestyle or characteristic. Homophobia can be direct – a word or action that is hurtful, violent or unfair. It can also be indirect – for example, excluding people because of who they are.

Homophobic/ biphobic/ transphobic bullying and harassment

Bullying someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity or gender history is called homophobic, biphobic or transphobic bullying. This sort of bullying aims to exclude, threaten, hurt, or humiliate people because of their identity. Bullying can be direct and indirect.

Internet Service Provider (ISP)

An Internet service provider (ISP) is an organisation that helps people use or take part in the internet. 

LGBT

LGBT stands for ‘lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans’. It is a short way of referring to people whose sexual orientation is not heterosexual (or ‘straight’) or whose gender identity, history or expression is different to that which others assumed them to be at birth or what others think men and women ‘should’ be like.

Misogyny

Misogyny is the hatred or dislike of women or girls and can be acted out through sexual discrimination, denigration of women, violence against women, and the sexual objectification of women. Misogyny affects women and girls as individuals and as a gender. It affects all women and girls, whatever their sexual orientation or gender history.

Non-binary

Non-binary means anything that doesn’t fit into two distinct options. In this context, people who have a non-binary gender identity do not define themselves as male or female. They may identify as both men and women or neither. People who have non-binary sexual identities do not define their attraction to others according to fixed ideas of what a man or woman is.

Online

Online means any sort of communication via electronic technology. These electronic devises could be phones, PC/laptops, tablets, or any device that connects to the internet. It includes all the ways in which people communicate through these devices – social networking sites, dating and gaming sites, chat rooms, discussion forums, email, websites etc.

Online abuse

Online abuse is any sort of abusive behaviour that happens via electronic technologies (see above).

Out

The word ‘out’ is used by lesbians, gay men, bisexual and trans people to describe their experience of self-discovery, self-acceptance, openness and honesty about their sexual orientation or gender identity and their decision to share this with others when and how they choose. ‘Coming out’ is a phrase used to describe telling other people about your sexual orientation or gender identity.

Outed

Being ‘outed’ is when someone else decides to tell people about your sexual orientation, gender identity or history, without your permission. Being outed in this way is an example of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. In some contexts it is also a crime.

Sex

The word sex is used in two ways on this site:

 

When describing using the internet to meet people for sex, the word sex means any sexual activity between two or more people.

 

When describing assumptions made about people’s gender based on their body, sex refers to the male/female physical development. In an infant, the sex is judged entirely on genital appearance at birth. Other factors, such as chromosomal configuration, are seldom tested unless a genital anomaly is present. There is an assumption that an apparently male infant will identify as a boy and vice versa.

Sexism

Sexism is prejudice or discrimination based on a person's gender, typically against women but affecting all genders. Sexism implies the belief that one sex or gender is intrinsically superior to another, either in all things or in one specific context. Extreme sexism may fuel sexual harassment, rape and other forms of sexual violence.

Sexual discrimination

Sexual discrimination is when someone is treated differently and less fairly than others because of their gender. 

Sexual objectification

This is when someone is viewed only in terms of their gender, rather than who they are as a person, and derogatory views are applied to an individual based on their gender identity or body. This can affect all women, including trans women, and all LGBT people.

Social media

Social media is the online exchange of information, ideas and other content (e.g. photos and videos) between individual users. Social media works through online communities, usually using an ‘interactive platform’ such as Facebook or Twitter, which allow people to directly share their own content. This content is called ‘user-generated’ because people write and share it themselves directly with others.

Social networking

Social networking is the online exchange of user-generated content directly between individual people. As in face-to-face communication between people, networking involves the interactions between people. Social networking is the phrase used to describe this interaction via electronic technologies online. Social networking sites are internet-based platforms that enable this direct exchange to take place, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Ask.fm and so on.

Tag

A tag is a label given to a piece of online information (comments, photos) that links it to other pieces of information, people and profiles on social networking sites. If a Twitter tag (called a hashtag or #) is used or shared a huge number of times, then it is said to be ‘trending’.

Trans/ transgendered

Trans (or transgendered) is a word which includes everyone whose gender history, identity or expression does not fit what others assumed they were at birth or what others think men and women ‘should’ be like. Many people whose experience fits under the term trans have not undergone medical or surgical measures, for a range of reasons and some live in a number of identities at the same time, again for a range of reasons. Others undergo a process of medical and/or surgical transition. Trans is therefore an umbrella term which includes trans*, transsexual, transvestite (cross dresser), transgender, non-gender and non-binary people amongst others. In practice, the range of people who fall under this umbrella term is extremely diverse. 

Transphobia

Transphobia is fear or dislike directed towards trans people – or those assumend to be trans or those associated with them, such as family members - based on who people are and their perceived lifestyle, culture or characteristics, whether or not an individual has that lifestyle or characteristic. Transphobia can be direct – a word or action that is hurtful, violent or unfair. It can also be indirect – for example, excluding people because of who they are.

Transsexual

Transsexual describes someone who undertakes a full time change of gender role, which may include medical and/or surgical processes. Not all trans people are transsexual and the word transsexual should only be used as an adjective, not a noun, and should not be used unless that is someone’s identity of choice.

Trolling

Trolling happens when someone deliberately posts offensive, upsetting or inflammatory comments online in an attempt to hurt and provoke a response. A person who undertakes this sort of behaviour is called a troll. 

VAWG - Violence Against Women & Girls

The phrase ‘violence against women and girls’ is one used across Europe to describe physical, sexual or psychological harm directed against women and girls because of their gender. This is sometimes also called ‘gender based violence’ because such violence is believed to affect women and girls disproportionally. 

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