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Michael Halpin, assistant professor in Dal's department of Sociology & Social Anthropology, featured in several interviews

Posted by Communications Manager on July 11, 2023 in News

Researchers probing the online communications of the involuntary celibate community have found nearly all participants use misogynistic language and that women of colour are subjected to both racist and sexist comments.

Dalhousie University researchers Michael Halpin, assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology and Finlay Maguire, assistant professor in the Faculty of Computer Science, analyzed almost 3.7 million comments on a discussion board popular with involuntary celibates or incels over 42 months and found that nearly all active participants used misogynistic terms. Incels are a subculture made up primarily of young men who feel unable to secure romantic or sexual relationships with women.

The researchers collected posts from November 2017 to April 2021, finding that women of color get twice the abuse online from incels as white women and that participants’ use of misogynistic terms does not increase or decrease with post frequency. This suggests they do not become misogynistic after spending time on the site, but arrive with those ideas in place.

Their research, published in New Media and Society, found that the most common term was 'foid,' which is short for female android and was used more than 250,000 times to dehumanize women and imply that they are unthinking, uncaring machines.

See media opportunity details here.

Recent interviews featuring Dr. Michael Halpin:

Newsweek: Women of Color Face Twice the Online Abuse from Incels, Study Finds

CBC Radio - Information Morning NS: Study finds the internet is a more dangerous, mysoginistic place than we realize

Saltwire: Incels aren't just sexist, they're racist too, Dal researcher finds