Space Ramblings

Threat D’Net

Four percent of American youths online have been asked to send a sexually explicit photo of themselves over the Internet, researchers say in a new study. Of the 65 youths in the study who reported receiving a request, only one actually complied. But researchers say that’s still a troubling number: With millions of youths online, that projects to potentially thousands across the country.

The study, based on telephone surveys of 1,500 Internet users ages 10 to 17, was being published Friday in the Journal of Adolescent Health. The survey has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.

Which of course is the kind of ‘disturbing’ study FOX likes to tout. How significant is it? Well plenty of people who go into chat rooms will find that to be a reality. Particularly girls. The study oddly does not seem to distinguish by gender. Considering that only one person in the study complied, this does not seem to be a significant threat. Teenagers, particularly girls, are going to be subject to sexual harassment online. Just as they are in real life. Is the sexual harassment they face on the internet quantitatively more significant or severe than what they face in real life? It’s hard to say.

Now it’s a given that parents should have a talk with their kids on the matter but is this exactly a real danger or just more threat d’net hype which the media routinely engages in? Again when you have only one teen in the study who actually went along with this and only 1 in 25 who were even asked, it seems as if the supposed danger here is being severely overblown just to another institute can issue another pointless study that tells us nothing new, except that it’s an issue in a small number of cases and that media outlets can promptly jump on it as they gleefully find new ways to report on teenagers and online pornography while attempting to pretend to be credible journalistic publications,

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