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Study Shows Teens on MySpace Often Talk Sex, Violence

Growing up as a teenager can be hard. At a time when youths are still discovering themselves and seeking acceptance from their peers (or strangers), what does one do? Let it all out on MySpace, of course. According to a study published in the January issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 54-percent of the 500 MySpace profiles studied mentioned sex, alcohol, and violence on their respective user pages. The users were a mix of male and females, and were all 18 years of age.

In a similar and somewhat hopeful study, the doctors chose 190 different profiles of users between 18 and 20 years old that mentioned sex, substance abuse, or violence three or more times. The doctors then created their own profile page under the name "Dr. Meg," and sent the users an e-mail regarding the risks of publishing certain information, and also different clinical resources they could research. After three months, the researchers found that 42.1-percent of users that received the email -- and 29.5-percent of users that did not -- removed the risky language from their profile pages, or made their pages private. Seems a lot of the teens may have simply been venting, or didn't realize the risks of what they were doing at the time.

It's tough to say if youths are actually more obsessed with risky behavior than times before social networking was popular, but clearly publishing such information online for the world to see increases any potential danger. There are countless people out there who can and will take advantage of others, and giving them an easy in for communication through a site like MySpace -- especially after showing interest in sex, drugs, and/or violence -- means we all need to be a bit more careful on what we and our children post online. [From: CNN]

Tags: myspace, sex, socialnetworking, study, violence, web