Using the Internet to meet strangers is a more common online behavior for teenage girls than most would expect, according to a new study.
The study, conducted by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, found 30 percent of teen girls have met people in person they first encountered online.
Looking at 251 girls between the ages of 14 and 17, half of which had either been significantly abused or neglected, the study found victimized teenage girls are more likely to actively seek sexual content as well as connections with strangers online.
“Victimized teenage girls were likely to seek out sexual
advances from strangers they first met online.”
In addition to presenting a highly sexualized online image, victimized teenage girls were also highly likely to seek out sexual advances from strangers they first met online.
The study’s head researcher, Jennie Noll, notes filtering software rarely prevents teenage girls from accessing adult content or from forming online relationships with strangers.
Noll explains the potential danger in these behaviors, especially meeting strangers in person:
“These meetings may have been benign, but for an adolescent girl to do so, it is dangerous. Maltreatment poses a unique risk for online behavior that may set the stage for harm.”
Source: Pediatrics journal. Photo source: askmissa.com.