Monitored chats "provided a relatively safe haven for participants who present themselves as young and female," write Subrahmanyam and colleagues. youths aren't the only ones going online with sex on their minds.It's hard to know if chatters were who they claimed to be, the researchers point out. A study of 778 teens aged 15-18 in the African nation of Ghana shows that two-thirds had gone online, mainly at cafes with Internet access. More than half of the teenage Internet users had sought health information, and sexual health information (including sexually transmitted diseases) was a leading health topic.Most of those messages -- more than one in four -- offered informal support, such as, "We're glad that you're here" or "Just try to relax and try to breathe deeply and slowly." But 9% of the messages mentioned ways to conceal self-harm and its effects (such as scars) and nearly as many mentioned the "addictiveness" of self-harm.
Unmonitored chats had more cursing and sexual content.He suggests using highly restricted filtering programs and kid-oriented sites for very young kids, with less restrictive filters for older children.Michigan State University's Linda Jackson, Ph D, and colleagues studied 140 children from low-income families who had never had home Internet access.They focused on sites that weren't highly moderated, in order to avoid censors.The boards had between 70 and more than 6,600 members.