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Dating for teenagers online

The purpose of this study is to investigate several factors associated with adolescents’ online-offline dating behavior (On-Off Dating), i.e.romantic encounters initiated online and transferred offline at a certain point.The necessity to consider children’/teenagers’ behavior from a perspective of social agency has been also formulated by Jill Korbin (2003), who talks about an increasing need for the inclusion of child perspective in the explanation of larger structural conditions of violence.In my opinion this theoretical approach could be applied for the analysis of teenagers’ romantic and sexual behavior in relation to the use of online communication tools.Wanted, deliberate exposure was found to be higher for boys and youth who talked to strangers online about sex (Wolak et al., 2007).

The attempt to bring together research on adolescent behavior and research related to romance and sexuality on the Internet appears to be a difficult endeavor.

low physical self-esteem, high dating anxiety) and the recreation hypothesis (sexually permissive people and high-sensation seekers who value the anonymity of the Internet).

However, in the case of teenagers, specific conditions such as peer pressure and the nature of the online communication might work in a completely different direction: popular teenagers, with high physical and social self-esteem might have a higher probability to engage in online-offline dating (due to the high visibility to their circle of friends, classmates or schoolmates).

The topic of online victimization of youth has started to grow in breadth and coherence, with valuable studies focusing extensively on online sexual victimization (Finkelhor, Mitchell, & Wolak, 2000; Mitchell, Finkelhor, & Wolak, 2003a, 2004), or even more specifically, on online harassment (Ybarra, Mitchell, Wolak, & Finkelhor, 2006) and Internet-initiated sex crimes (Walsh & Wolak, 2005).

More recent approaches suggest that an authoritative, adult viewpoint to youth’s behavior online that would further emphasize parental control is only prone to produce normative statements, panic-driven recommendations, without a comprehensive understanding of “what the kids are really doing online” (Goodstein, 2007; Wolak, Finkelhor, Mitchell, & Ybarra, 2008, p.2).

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