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Add to that the heightened amount of control that women have over online conversations (politeness norms can make it more difficult to assertively deflect romantic advances in face-to-face conversations, nudging women toward showing greater politeness than they might otherwise feel) and you have what social psychologists might call “a masculine identity threat”.
In a culture where men are generally still expected to take the lead in sexual relationships, being denied all of these opportunities may make some men feel powerless in the online dating game and so turn to harassment or intimidation to try and re-establish a sense of power.
Anyone can be the target and victim of these scams—men, women, young, old, gay, straight, white, black, Asian, Hispanic… But the FBI states that women who are “over 40, divorced, widowed, and/or disabled” are prime targets for scammers.
People are often ashamed to come forward and admit that they’ve been duped.But to assume that these “misguided” attempts at seduction explain the rise and rise of such cyber-flashing tells only half the story.Misogynistic harassment is a serious issue for online dating services.It’s not yet clear how the law might apply to the sending of unsolicited dick pics or sexual images, but British police have investigated at least one case.
It’s essentially cyber-flashing, the real world’s online equivalent, and should be treated as seriously.
Quite clearly this person meant to frighten and intimidate her.