We told you that there are spies on Facebook, but what's dangerous is sex offenders lurking on social media sites. Students and young adults are highly susceptible to being contacted by internet sex offenders from the very first time a chat session is initiated. A recent study found that more than two-thirds of internet sexual offenders initiate the topic of sex with middle school and high school students during their first chat session. The lesson for young people is: DON'T START.
Researcher Elizabeth B. Dowdell says, "The use of online social networks such as Facebook continues to rapidly increase among all age groups, providing new opportunities for the exchange of sexual information and potential unsafe encounters between predators and the vulnerable young. (Our) study surveyed middle school, high school, college age students as well as sexual offenders about their use of social networking sites in order to provide better education and prevention programs for use by nurses and other health care providers."
She discovered that sexual offenders and students frequent similar social network sites with offenders preferring Myspace and students preferring Facebook. More than half of the Internet sexual offenders say that they disguise their identity when online, and most of them prefer communicating with teenage girls rather than boys. More private schools (75%) knew about sexting than public school students (50%). Some students report being threatened or assaulted by people they met online: Of the middle school students who reported chatting with strangers online, 54% reported that they had met the individual in-person, and of those 32 students, 10% reported being sexually assaulted or inappropriately touched. Maybe they should be content with just having sex with their Smartphones.
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