30% of teenagers have met strangers that they chat up online without confirming their identity, according to a shocking new study.
“These meetings may have been benign, but for an adolescent girl to do it is dangerous,” says Jennie Noll, PhD, a psychologist at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the study’s author.
Moreover, abused or neglected teenage girls were more likely to present themselves online in a sexually provocative way than other teenage girls. Research shows that high-risk, online profiles are more likely to lead to offline meetings, according to Dr Noll.
“One patient told a story about a guy who started texting her a lot, and he seemed ‘really nice’. So she agreed to meet him at the mall, she got in his car, they drove somewhere and he raped her.”