skip navigation


Abstract Database

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

To download this abstract, check the box next to the NCJ number then click the "Back To Search Results" link. Then, click the "Download" button on the Search Results page. Also see the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 208623 Find in a Library
Title: Internet, Sex, and Youths: Implications for Sexual Development
Journal: Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity  Volume:11  Issue:4  Dated:2004  Pages:343-363
Author(s): Sylvain C. Boies; Gail Knudson; Julian Young
Date Published: 2004
Page Count: 21
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reviews the literature concerning youths’ online sexual activities and how they relate to their sexual development and mental health.
Abstract: Youths between the ages of 12 and 24 years have become the largest group using the Internet for communication purposes, spurring research interest in their online sexual activities. Online sexual activities (OSA) are described as any activity on the Internet that involves sexuality “for the purposes of recreation, entertainment, exploration, support, education, commerce, and/or seeking out sexual or romantic partners.” Since adolescence is a key time for relational and sexual development, it is crucial that social scientists and mental health professionals understand the online experiences of youth so that their proper development may be supported. The authors review the research literature concerning the OSA of youths, including prevalence estimates and types of activities engaged in, as well as the research pertaining to youths’ reactions to online sexually explicit material. Problematic Internet use is also explored and includes use patterns that interfere with personal functioning and result in dependency. The relationship between problematic Internet use and mental health is further explored as the authors summarize the research pertaining to how OSA may result in maladaptive psychosocial and sexual development, including sexual compulsivity. Finally, the treatment literature is briefly reviewed and several recommendations are offered to educators, therapists, and researchers working in the field of human sexuality. Among these recommendations is the call to update sexual education programs to reflect the latest data on Internet sexuality. References
Main Term(s): Computers; Sexual behavior
Index Term(s): Child development; Mental health; Youth development
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.