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Added: Rose Stach - Date: 16.09.2021 08:50 - Views: 37050 - Clicks: 3368

Last summer in Wisconsin, a mother came home to find her year-old son running up the stairs from their basement. He yelled that a man had broken into the house and raped him. A police officer apprehended Eugene Gross, who was 51 years old and H. Authorities later learned that the teenager had met Mr. Gross on the gay hookup app Grindr and that they had met for sex before.

Last month, Mr. Gross was sentenced to 15 years. But most online social networks for gay men are geared toward adults and focused on sex. They have failed to protect minors, who simply have to subtract a few years from their birth date to create a profile. Sixty-nine percent of them have had sex with someone they met through these apps. Only 25 percent use condoms consistently.

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So they go online. Though they may be looking for friends or boyfriends, they mostly find sex.

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A minor can make a profile within minutes and instantly start chatting with adult men who live nearby. Teenagers are still developing their abilities to delay gratification and control their impulses. Should apps like Grindr be held able when minors use them? But it could certainly gay boys 17 more to try to verify ages. Some gambling sites, for instance, make users a credit card or ID to prove their age.

Grindr could also use algorithms to detect conversations between minors and adults. Age verification through social media is hardly foolproof, since minors can lie about their age on Facebook, too. Ina man who had been arrested for having sex with a year-old boy sued Grindrclaiming that its weak enforcement of age restrictions was to blame for the sexual encounter.

And Grindr is hardly the only problem — there are many similar venues. In the end, it is largely up to parents to protect their children.

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Parents can block apps like Grindr. Englander tells parents not to try to be experts on the technology.

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Children need to hear that naked photos and videos are permanent even when sent on Snapchat. They should know that sex between a minor and an adult is illegal. They need to know the risk of infections from unprotected sex.

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As a society, we have failed to create enough spaces for gay youth to thrive, pushing them online and underground. While we try to find ways to hold digital sites able, we need to talk to our kids about how to be safe online.

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The Digital Sex Lives of Young Gay Teenagers