Michigan State criminal justice professor Thomas J. Holt, found that about one in four children said they were pressured by their friends online to talk about sex when they didn’t want to. The study included 439 middle- and high-school students aged 12 to 16.
“This is not to downplay the danger of pedophiles acting online, but it does draw attention to the potential threat of child sexual victimization by the people our kids are closest to, the people they spend the greatest amount of time with online,” explains Holt.
The study is important as it is one of the first to examine the factors of online child sexual victimization. The review appears online in the Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice.
Researchers found that girls and kids with low self-control, were more likely to be sexually harassed online. But the biggest surprise was the finding that 24 percent of study participants were sexually harassed over the Internet.
Parental-filtering software or keeping the computer in an open space such as the family living room did not seem to reduce the problem
We address this issue in Beyond the Birds and the Bees: Raising Whole and Holy Kids. Parents who use internet filters tend to be overconfident in what they can do. The only antidote is fostering a discipleship relationship with your children that enables you to provide the ongoing guidance and character formation that helps them stay strong even when mom and dad aren’t standing over them. It’s a tough job, but YOU CAN DO IT! For step-by-step guidance on how you can raise moral kids in an immoral world, check out Beyond the Birds and the Bees.