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Due to the novelty of the topic in the Romanian context, multiple dimensions were taken into consideration.In order to move beyond the victimization perspective, this article relies mostly on the social agency theory that envisions teenagers as skilled and informed actors, who possess the technological, social and communicative competencies which enable them to distinguish between safe and unsafe situations (both online and offline).
Therefore, the imagery of Internet dangers described by terms like ”strangers” and ”sexual predators” is often over-represented and counter-productive.
Second, adolescents often act as skilled agents, employing various communication tools for a series of purposes, although the delineation is not always clear (instrumental, rational purposes that overlap with ludic, playful experimentations); it should be kept in mind that while teenagers might become victims of online deceit, they themselves may also misrepresent personal information and lie.
Earlier research on adults has also found a positive connection between exposure to sexually explicit materials and more permissive sexual attitudes (Davis & Bauserman, 1993).
Scholars have also explored youth’s deliberate exposure to sexually explicit materials (Peter & Valkenburg, 2006a, Wolak, Mitchell, & Finkelhor, 2007) and the connection between this type of exposure and positive attitudes towards uncommitted sexual exploration (Peter & Valkenburg, 2008), with findings suggesting a positive connection between the two.
Wanted, deliberate exposure was found to be higher for boys and youth who talked to strangers online about sex (Wolak et al., 2007).
In line with the above mentioned research, I predicted that deliberate exposure to explicit content, along with surfing for topics related to sex life or surfing for romantic contacts, would be positively connected to the online-offline dating decision; however, my subsequent goal is to see also whether the exposure to unwanted sexual materials and solicitations online acts as a (negative) predictor of the decision to continue the interpersonal relation formed online with an offline date (encounter).
Conversely, the same mechanisms would prevent shy ones to expose themselves to possible scrutiny and ridicule).
As for the recreation hypothesis, even though high-sensation seeking adolescents might engage in more active search for sexually explicit material or dates, any investigation should take into account their ludic tendencies, such as deliberate dissimulation of information on the Internet.
adolescents, online-offline dating, predictors, skilled social agents Early concerns about the way children and teenagers use the Internet have generally followed the trend established by dystopian theories about ICTs, suspected to have negative side-effects, such as increasing depression and loneliness, weakening social ties and promoting superficial relations (Kraut, Patterson, Lundmark, Kiesler, Mukhopadhyay, & Scherlis, 1998).Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating