Parental Boundaries Key Factor in Cyber-Sex Boom Among Youth
By Jim Brown
March 21, 2006
(AgapePress) - A
well-known Internet safety expert says staggering numbers of
young people are involved in the dangerous world of cyber-sex --
but most parents are not even aware it's an issue affecting
percent of more than 2,500 university and college students
polled across Canada admit to having virtual sex over Instant
Messenger, web cams, or the telephone. The 20-question survey
was conducted by Toronto-based CampusKiss.com, an online dating
community for students.
expert and advocate Donna Rice-Hughes, president of the group
Enough Is Enough,
says results among American students are no different.
"The majority of
kids -- in fact, nine- and ten-[year-old] youths -- have
accidentally come across pornography [on the Internet]," says
Rice-Hughes. "We're also seeing other studies and surveys that
show that some of the largest demographic groups of users of
Internet porn and cyber-sex are youth and teenagers."
Rice Hughes says
similar numbers are found in the next higher age category --
college students, which she points "are now out of the home and
out from under parental supervision."
says Rice-Hughes, pre-teen girls are especially vulnerable to
being solicited sexually through chat rooms and instant
messaging. "When they have that kind of exposure to not only
pornography and sexual predators online at such an early age,"
she says, "the boundary issues that have not been set cause
problems down the road, where these kids start engaging in these
As an example
she notes that in statistics provided by the National Center for
Missing and Exploited Children, one of the largest categories of
online perpetrators who were soliciting sex from other minors
were minor children themselves.
convinced that parental ignorance, lack of parental involvement,
and access to porn in chat rooms and via instant messaging all
are major factors that increase young people's appetite for
engaging in virtual sex.
Jim Brown, a regular contributor to AgapePress, is a
American Family Radio News, which can be heard online.