My daughter’s school had a guest speaker in recently speaking about the dangers of online predation. She was a policy investigator specializing in online predators and, after hearing her speak, I was terrified. The stories she told about older men trying to entice young girls on line to send pictures, meet…. It was really scary and made me really worry about the dangers my daughter was exposed to online.
So, I started to do some research. Was the online world as scary fro young girls as I was fearing. The answer seems to be yes and no… but mostly no.
Here is the truth in what she was saying. There are lurkers online who will try to communicate with girls and try to get them to do things that are pretty unsavoury. The good news is, though, that they are pretty rare and easily dissuaded if the girl on the receiving end of their attention shows no interest… they move on quickly.
But here’s the most important point I found. I read a blog by an historian who has researched the history of dating. Her findings were incredible. Every major technology advance that goes children more independence, we find a similar overreaction/hysteria from parents.. that their children are in mortal (and moral) danger.
In the early 1900s when it became socially acceptable for a woman to go on a date without a chaperon. In the 40s, when automobiles proliferated and boys and girls could go on date, and when telephones became mainstream…. the response was identical. Parents feared that the newfound independence for their daughters would lead to horrible consequences at the hands of predatory men. And the good news… it hasn’t.