Cybersex: Human Sexuality and Internet Chat Rooms

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Definition We are currently living in a world dominated on many fronts by the Internet. For some people, the Internet is their primary means of life – they communicate solely by e-mail, instant messages, and message boards, they shop on-line, and they meet new people in Internet chat rooms. For this group of individuals, communication with the outside world is limited to the daily routine of work. As a result, the Internet is altering patterns of social communication and interpersonal relationships. This is nowhere more true than in the field of sexuality (Cooper 1998). Furthermore, sex is the most frequently used search term on the Internet today (Brown 2002). With the rapidly enlarging role of computers in homes and…show more content…
In September of 1998, New York experienced its first ever internet-related sexual assault case that arose from e-mail correspondence between two university students (Ullman 1998). The case involved a thirty year-old doctoral candidate and a twenty year-old English and Philosophy major. The two met in an America On-Line chat room, and decided to hold a chat via instant messenger. The two discussed their parents, educational backgrounds and career aspirations, as well as their prior experiences in computer role-playing games (RPG's). After only a short time, she told him her first sexual fantasy – her yearning to make a snuff film. As a response to this, he told of his interests in sex, magic and the occult. Their relationship was sporadic for several weeks after their initial encounter due to the fact that he was traveling, but upon his return, they e-mailed several times a day. His e-mails were short and too the point, whereas hers showed that she was the active pursuer using gory or lewd language and talking about murder, homicidal impulses, and dismemberment obsessions. It was she who first suggested they have an off-screen meeting. In a long e-mail she wrote about the fact that a roommate of hers had been raped, and that she wanted nothing more than to go home, but she could not. She was so sad. He responded by giving her his telephone number saying she could call him if she needed to talk to someone. After a five-hour telephone conversation,

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