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STUDY: A quarter of boys, 20 percent of girls claim to have 'cyber sex'
Thu Jun 01 2006 12:17:18 ET

Webcams and online chatting have sparked a new "sexual revolution" among youth, Dutch researchers said Thursday.

In a large but nonscientific survey, nearly a quarter of males and 20 percent of females said they had recently had "cyber sex" _ defined as pretending to have actual sex while sending each other sexually explicit messages or images. Three quarters of girls and 80 percent of boys said they had flirted online.

"Just like the sexual revolution in the 1960s and 70s of the past century, the Internet has made whole new forms of sexual relations possible, and they are being used for the first time en masse by a new generation of youth," researchers said in a summary of their findings.

However, the survey found that 26 percent of girls and 10 percent of boys said they had had a negative experience related to online sex, ranging from inappropriate sexually tinged remarks to outright harassment.

The survey was commissioned by Royal KPN NV, the Netherlands' largest Internet provider.

My Child Online editor Justine Pardoen said she was surprised by the results.

"Parents talk only about the danger and risks of the Internet; they are very focused on how to protect their children from online predators," she said "These data suggest they should be thinking about something else: that the kids are all 'doing it' online already."


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