Sydney, Feb 8: Children and teenagers have an increased risk of online sexual exploitation because of their unsupervised use of technology, according to a study.
The 18-month study by the Australian Institute of Family Studies has uncovered that teenagers, even 12-year olds, regularly surfed the Internet and the social media, mainly to access pornography, which exposed them to abuse or sexual assault from online adult predators and blackmailers, Telegraph.com.au reports.
According to the study, children used mobile phones to record both consensual and non-consensual sexual acts, and share them with strangers on the net, which puts them at risk from predators adopting fake Facebook profiles to send them requests.
The study added that the children are also pressurized to engage in sexual activity online by these predators, who identify the victims from their online ‘footprint’.
The study also said that sexual relationships between peer groups had being sullied by the increasingly common behavior of sending sex messages, sexual activities and sharing nude photos.
According to an expert, the children, who are keen to try on new sexual identities online, did not fully understand the technology they used and the real-life consequences of their online lives.
The expert added that parents are mostly unaware of their children’s online activities, and either did not care or understood about them.
Experts also said the law had not kept up with the fast-moving technology. (ANI)