Adolescent Sexuality on the Internet

David Smahel and Kaveri SubrahmanyaM

in Adolescent Sexual Behavior in the Digital Age

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print April 2014 | ISBN: 9780199945597
Published online August 2014 | e-ISBN: 9780199357987 | DOI:
Adolescent Sexuality on the Internet

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  • Psychiatry
  • Forensic Psychiatry


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To examine adolescent sexuality on the Internet, the chapter begins by presenting a co-construction framework connecting youths’ online behavior to their development. Then we describe the characteristics of online environments that support sexual exploration and sexuality online. Finally, we describe the ways that adolescents engage in online sexual exploration in the service of their sexual development: searching for information about sexuality and sexual health, constructing and presenting sexual selves online, cybersex (sexual chatting between two or more individuals), and accessing sexually explicit content. We show that the Internet presents both opportunities and challenges to youths as they engage in these kinds of online explorations in the service of their sexual development.

Chapter.  10663 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Psychiatry ; Forensic Psychiatry

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