Navigation Links
Study Demonstrates Internet Risks for Teen Girls
Date:5/26/2009

One in Four Reports Meeting Offline

CINCINNATI, May 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new study demonstrates why parents need to know how their teenage girls present themselves online.

The study, published in the June issue of Pediatrics, shows that teen girls who would depict themselves online in a provocative way, and teen girls with a history of child abuse, are more likely to receive online sexual advances and then meet those individuals offline.

Moreover, 40 percent of all 173 teen girls in the study reported experiencing online sexual advances, and 26 percent reported meeting someone in person who they first met online.

"The importance of parental monitoring of adolescent Internet use cannot be understated," says Jennie Noll, PhD, a psychologist at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and the study's main author. "This is particularly important given that 55 percent of adolescent Internet users have or are currently using social networking Websites.

Dr. Noll studied girls between the ages of 14 and 17. Each was asked to create an avatar -- an electronic image to represent herself -- and complete a questionnaire regarding her computer and Internet usage, sexual attitudes and activities, substance use, involvement with peers, and presence of maternal and paternal caregivers.

The avatars they created were evaluated based on previously defined categories spanning a continuum from conservative to provocative, depending on such factors as bust and hip size, upper body clothing, lower body clothing and piercings. Those who had depicted themselves as provocative in terms of body and clothing choices were more likely to have had online sexual advances.

In addition to choosing a provocative avatar, other risk factors for online sexual advances included substance abuse and being preoccupied with sex and sexual thoughts. Associating with high-risk peers was an additional risk factor for in-person encounters.

"The Proteus Effect, or the idea that one's presentation of oneself can affect the behavior of the presenter as well as of the receiver, has important implications in this age of wide reliance on Internet use, where users can portray themselves in a multitude of fashions," says Dr. Noll. "Self-presentations can change the way Internet users interact in a manner that increases the risk for online sexual advances. Your behavior can change based on how you present yourself to the world. It isn't just naive kids who are vulnerable. Those who choose to present themselves as 'sexually sophisticated' are particularly vulnerable to those who would choose to be exploitive of such self descriptions."

The presentation of oneself in a provocative manner, however, is not necessarily limited to Websites that rely on avatars as the primary interface. For female adolescents in particular, self-presentations such as a compilation of photographs and narrative descriptions on networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace might also increase their vulnerability, according to Dr. Noll. "Some adolescents include content on their social networking face pages that is alarmingly provocative and revealing. These are the snapshots that are revealed publicly, for all to see.

"Those adolescents who may be unaware of how their appearance might be perceived may not, from a developmental perspective, possess the social sophistication necessary to field and ward off sexual advances in ways that protect them from sexually explicit suggestions," she says. "This may be a particularly important lesson to convey to female adolescents who are especially vulnerable to exploitation and victimization, such as those who have been victims of childhood abuse."

Parents can play an important role in preventing exposure to online sexual solicitations, according to Dr. Noll, who found that caregiver presence was associated with significantly fewer reports by adolescents of online solicitations. For example, she says parents should emphasize to adolescents ways to ward off sexual advances and explain to them how virtual self-representations can influence behaviors and perceptions.

Primary care physicians, too, should consider asking teen patients about their Internet use as an aspect of comprehensive care. Not enough people are talking about how teens are being proactive in "putting themselves out there for public consumption," according to Dr. Noll.

"In many respects, reacting to normal urges and curiosities about sex is a large part of normative adolescent development, but doing so via virtual personas or provocative self-descriptors in social networking worlds may not be the healthiest or most safe avenue by which to explore," she says.

The study was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health.

www.cincinnatichildrens.org


'/>"/>
SOURCE Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Mayo study finds that team preop briefing improves communication, reduces errors
2. Arthritis drug might prove effective in fighting the flu, study suggests
3. Newborns of South Asian and East Asian descent misclassified as underweight at birth: Study
4. Mayo Study Finds That Team Preop Briefing Improves Communication, Reduces Errors
5. Thumbs Up at ARVO for Diaton Tonometer - New Through Eyelid Glaucoma Test Clinical Study Presented, Results as Accurate as Gold Standard
6. Refusing Immunizations Puts Children at Increased Risk of Pertussis Infection, Kaiser Permanente Study Finds
7. Study: Lower Legal Drinking Age Increases Poor Birth Outcomes
8. Study: Lower legal drinking age increases poor birth outcomes
9. First of its kind study identifies risk factors for LRTIs in Inuit children
10. Abbotts XIENCE V(R) Demonstrates Impressive Low Rates of Repeat Procedure, Stent Thrombosis and Major Adverse Cardiac Events in Complex, Real World Patients in SPIRIT V Study
11. Study Links Cancerous Tumors With Depression
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/22/2017)... ... May 22, 2017 , ... ... on Wellocity to empower WeightZone Factor members to track their exercise patterns, monitor ... excellent health education, all on their mobile phones. It also provides social networks ...
(Date:5/21/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Chris Cornell, 52, was found dead on the night of Wednesday, May 17, ... lead singers in the rock industry would take his own life, but the extremely talented ... mental illness played a role in the death of Chris Cornell . , Depression ...
(Date:5/21/2017)... , ... May 20, 2017 , ... ... systems between ABC Financial Services and financial systems. , Dozens of ... exported files that are electronically processed through GetLinked into their club’s accounting system ...
(Date:5/21/2017)... ... May 20, 2017 , ... Pot. Reefer. Grass. Mary Jane. No matter what ... its attributes like never before. More than a map, new social marketplace Weedable ... strains, products – and for the first time – each other. A social marketplace ...
(Date:5/21/2017)... ... May 21, 2017 , ... Florida Pain Relief Group, a division of Physician ... at 109 Silver Palm Ave., Melbourne, on Monday, May 22. Initially the clinic will ... the Melbourne practice, PPOA operates 23 pain management clinics in Florida and the Dallas-Fort ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/10/2017)...  The Corporate Whistleblower Center says, "We are ... clinics to call us anytime at 866-714-6466 if they ... in a substantial scheme to overbill Medicare. We ... employee of a medical equipment company if their ... medical practice groups with extra generous incentives to use, ...
(Date:5/9/2017)... , May 9, 2017  Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc. ... a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on the development ... the Canadian Intellectual Property Office has granted Oramed ... Administration of Exenatide". The patent covers Oramed,s invention ... GLP-1 is an incretin hormone that stimulates ...
(Date:5/6/2017)... , May 5, 2017  May is Stroke Awareness ... of the most important methods to prevent a stroke: ... Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, undetected and uncontrolled ... Omron, the global leader in personal heart health ... elimination of heart attack and stroke and is advancing ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: