Online Abuse of Girls Starts at Home

Unlike the Harvard Law School Berkman Center cyber white wash from earlier this year, a recent American Academy of Pediatrics scientific study found that a history of childhood abuse and a provocative online identity increase the risk of Internet exploitation for girls.

The the study’s objective was to determine the risk factors for Internet-initiated victimization of female adolescents. The researchers found that abused girls were significantly more likely to have experienced online sexual advances and to have met someone offline. Having been abused and choosing a provocative avatar were significantly and independently associated with online sexual advances, which were, in turn, associated with offline encounters.

Unlike the Berkman Center’s politically charged report, which was $pon$ored by industry heavyweights like AOL, LindenLab, and MySpace, the AAP professionals “indicated they have no financial relationships relevant to this article to disclose.” This alone should give the Pediatric’s study the credibility that Harvard Law School so sorely and blatantly lacks.

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