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Police warned that such incidents were a growing national problem.
Indeed, a recent study by the University of Plymouth found that there is a generation of young women whose attitude to sex is being corrupted through new technology.
Worryingly, while the sites are intended for over 18s, neither conducted verifiable age checks.
With the online porn and dating industries exploding — the latter is worth £2.5 billion worldwide — experts are increasingly worried that extreme, and often risky, sexual behaviour among young people is being normalised by the internet.
Alone in a hotel room with a man she’d met only half-an-hour earlier, Becky Stevens knew it was too late to back out.
For six months, the 15-year-old had been chatting online to ‘Stuart’ after meeting him on an internet dating site.
Becky’s story is all the more alarming as she is not only from a loving home, but also a good student who achieved As and Bs at GCSEs.
But Becky is now choosing to speak out because, when she eventually told her friends about the mistakes she had made, it transpired that she was far from the only one who had become involved with strangers over the internet.To add to concerns, mobile ‘dating apps’ are being created which allow people to locate strangers in a specific geographical area for ‘hook-ups’.The University of Plymouth study was published just days after an inquest earlier this year heard that bullied teenager Simone Grice, 15, of Illogan, Cornwall, killed herself by leaping off a motorway viaduct after trying to bolster her self-esteem by meeting older men online.For a girl with little self-belief it was an easy way to boost her confidence and, with her limited relationship experience, she mistook prurient sexual interest for love.‘I’d come home from school, log on to the internet and my online boyfriends would ask how I was,’ she explained.