New research claims kids are sexually harassed by their friends over the internet. The study has been led by a Michigan State University cybercrime expert, and is viewed to show that children are not only harassed by strangers but by those peers closest to them.
The survey found the one in four children and teens are sexually harassed by their friends online. The harassment can take the form of talking about sex when they don’t want to. The study was conducted with 439 middle and high school students ranging between the ages of 12 and 16.
While the research is not intended to tone down danger from pedophiles and predators, it does focus attention on dangers from people that teens are closest to – their peers.
The study was published online in the Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice. Parent filtering software or placing the computer in a common area did little to alleviate the problem, as the harassment came from trusted peers.