Various studies have found that older adults are the fastest growing segment of online-dating services. So if you're looking for love, this can be an ideal option.
A growing number of people are promoting Internet safety education in an effort to help keep youngsters safe from Internet sex offenders.
This most commonly used statistic from the widely cited Youth Internet Safety Survey (YISS) counts, “unwanted sexual solicitations,” but many such experiences are probably not encounters with true Internet sex offenders.
For example, many of the youngsters thought the solicitations were from other youth or just casual rude comments1.
Virtually all cases of Internet sex crimes involve youth 12 and up2. Younger children have much less interest than teens in interacting with and going to meet unknown persons they have encountered online.
In most encounters, victims meet offenders voluntarily and expect sexual activity, because they feel love or affection for the person they have been corresponding with.
Typically they have sex with the adult on multiple occasions.
Most of these crimes are statutory rather than forcible rapes2.
To warn youth and parents about these crimes, we need to educate them about the real dynamics, and how naïve romantic illusions make some young people vulnerable to adult offenders who use flattery and seduction.
Although cases of abduction, forcible rape and murder have occurred, they are very rare.