Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Danger from internet predators - factors

CNN reports

Study identifies risk factors from Internet predators

Childhood abuse, use of sexy images puts girls at increased risk

These factors more crucial than Internet naivete or sexual innocence,

Authors urge caregivers to carefully monitor how girls present themselves online

(CNN) -- A history of childhood abuse and use of a provocative online identity increase the risk that girls will be victimized by someone they meet on the Internet, according to a study appearing in the June issue of

While highlighting the dangers that exist for adolescent girls, the study's authors also offer a word to parents: You can lessen the risks to your children by monitoring their Internet use.The authors sought to identify risk factors connected to increased rates of Internet-initiated victimization of girls. They also wanted to find out whether abuse victims showed increased vulnerability to online victimization.

They found that girls are more likely to experience online sexual advances or have offline encounters if they have previously been abused or have a provocative avatar, which is a digital image meant to represent the user online. Those two factors pose a greater risk to adolescents than perhaps more traditionally considered risks, such as Internet naivete and sexual innocence, the study says.

The authors say many Internet-initiated sex crimes originate on social networking sites, which require users to create online identities.[...]

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