|Debunking myths about kids' online risks: Studies|
|Written by Anne Collier|
|August 19, 2011|
In research she presented at the American Psychological Association's annual meeting and which will soon be published in the journal Pediatrics, Michele Ybarra, did some myth-busting. One myth she cited is the one about how the online experiences of many young people are negative. Rather, "most young people are not having negative experiences online," USATODAY reports. "In her studies, 62% of young people say they have neither been harassed nor bullied online." Another myth is that "kids are exposed to a lot of sexual content online. Ybarra, who is president and research director of the San Clemente, Calif.-based nonprofit research organization called Internet Solutions for Kids, says the truth is that young people are much more likely to be exposed to sexual material through television and music than they are through Web sites and videogames. Her research suggests that exposure to sexual material is highest with TV, at 75%, followed by music, at 69%.... The Internet is the least common way kids are exposed to sexual material, at 16% to 25%." Ybarra's data are from a longitudinal study of 1,588 then-10-to-15-year-olds which started in 2006 and a survey of more than 5,000 13-to-18-year-olds. In other findings she presented…
* Only 5% of teens surveyed had "sexted," a finding very close to that of the Pew Internet Project, which found that 4% of US teens had sent sexting photos (see this).