Cybersex Use and Abuse: Implications for Health Education
Authors: Rimington, Delores Dorton; Gast, Julie
Source: American Journal of Health Education, Volume 38, Number 1, January/February 2007 , pp. 34-40(7)
Abstract:The Internet is increasingly used as an outlet for sexual activity. This literature review explores key definitions, perceived benefits, risks, and consequences of engaging in cybersex, as well as its influence on youth and young adults. The accessibility, affordability, and anonymity of the Internet make it highly appealing to users. Increasing time spent online for sexual activity may lead to cybersex abuse and compulsive cybersex behavior. This poses a threat to relationships, work, and educational pursuits. Chatrooms are especially prominent as a slippery slope to more extreme sexual behaviors. Characteristics of cybersex users do not seem to be divided by subgroups such as gender, sexual orientation, and marital status. There are only limited amounts of research on youth and online sexual activity, but some research suggests that adolescents are engaging in cybersex. Moreover, college students appear to be at particular risk for developing cybersex compulsive behaviors. Increased health education about the dangers of potential cybersex addiction and abuse is needed. In addition, health educators need to add cybersex to their curricula to warn users of potential addiction.
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 2007-01-01
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