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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Teen girls' online experiences 'scary' | Cincinnati Enquirer | Cincinnati.Com

Teenage girls who’ve suffered child abuse and who design sexy avatars to represent themselves on sites like Facebook and MySpace are more likely to be victimized than girls that don’t by people they meet online, according to new research from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

The results, published in the June issue of the journal “Pediatrics,” highlight the need for parents and pediatricians to more closely monitor their teens’ online social lives, said Jennie Noll, a Cincinnati Children’s psychologist and lead author of the study.

Noll’s research found that teen girls who chose provocative avatars – or electronic images used as portraits – and those who had experienced abuse were more likely to receive online sexual advances, and to go on to meet their online “friends” face-to-face.

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