Although online dating sites have made an impact in hooking up many adult singles including divorcees and single parents they have also attracted another group of the population which are teens. Since the new generation of children and teens are quick to acquaint themselves with the modern technology of today, it was only a matter of time when they saw online dating sites as a perfect avenue for hooking up with other teenagers. Facebook is still king when it comes to bringing teens together in the social scene and free dating sites are a perfect platform for pairing up date=hungry teens. Since its very hard to control the age of entry for online dating sites, there can be potentially many under-age teens anxious to join the dating scene.
Teens who use the online dating sites are in a pool of potentially other dating users who are generally older than they are. As a result they are vulnerable to approaches from older mature people who are looking to exploit the teenagers for their own needs. Often financial implications play a big role in these types of dates with the teenager not having the money to afford the luxuries of life and the older predator filling this gap. Showering gifts to young people can be a big motivating factor in attracting attention and becoming close to young teens. The naivety and lack of maturity can often lead the teenager to make poor decisions and judgement and can lead them to trouble and even sexual abuse
Some dating sites have used some form of age verification checks but this is an extremely hard task to do since the database is not always up to date and can be inaccurate. The best way of tackling the issue of young teenagers falling victim to such abuse is to potentially make them aware of the problems. Despite the comprehensive information found in free dating sites to increase awareness in young teenagers some can become blinded by the relationship and will fall prey to these kind of tactics. Without doubt, the teenager’s best form of guard are the peers such as the parents who can and should provide valuable guidance in this area. Unfortunately, parents do not have legal responsibility of the teenager after they have reached the age of 18. The teenager is considered a full grown adult by the State and is considered able to take care of themselves.
At eighteen years of age, many teenagers are still immature and inexperienced to tackle all the issues that life has to throw at them. In particular many lack the skills to properly judge people’s motives and behavior thus aggravating the problem of sexual abuse. In many of the free dating sites where the teen singles hang out, they are often looking for a way out where they can resolve their financial problems and meet someone who is more financially secure. This is true of many female teens who are genuinely looking for a partner to settle down with who can take away much of their financial burden. Dating sites could do well to provide more sections on advice in this category of people who are lacking such worldly knowledge. The sections can be divided into the following:
- Finding the right person for you
- What to expect on a date
- Following up on a date
- Taking the relationship at a steady pace
- Safety aspects of dating
These are all important topics that teenagers should be made aware of and so they can feel safe and not become a victim to a sexual predator.
Teenagers are using free dating sites more aggressively to pursue other singles and the appeal of older men and women cannot be ignored. However, this brings about problems of sexual exploitation in exchange for money since teenagers can have little of it. There has to be more awareness brought to the teenager community about the safety aspects of online dating and more importantly following through with dates. This vulnerable group are susceptible to exploitation purely because of their lack of maturity and inexperience in the real world.
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The biggest population in the world is of teenagers hooking on to free dating sites that make them vulnerable to sexual abuse as they are easy targets. This is a concern for all dating sites to tackle with.
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