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adolescents, online-offline dating, predictors, skilled social agents Early concerns about the way children and teenagers use the Internet have generally followed the trend established by dystopian theories about ICTs, suspected to have negative side-effects, such as increasing depression and loneliness, weakening social ties and promoting superficial relations (Kraut, Patterson, Lundmark, Kiesler, Mukhopadhyay, & Scherlis, 1998).

More recently, while technophobes are increasingly nuancing their discourse, scholars have begun to focus on specific issues and risk groups.

Earlier research on adults has also found a positive connection between exposure to sexually explicit materials and more permissive sexual attitudes (Davis & Bauserman, 1993).

Scholars have also explored youth’s deliberate exposure to sexually explicit materials (Peter & Valkenburg, 2006a, Wolak, Mitchell, & Finkelhor, 2007) and the connection between this type of exposure and positive attitudes towards uncommitted sexual exploration (Peter & Valkenburg, 2008), with findings suggesting a positive connection between the two.

Although the debate will only advance when it transcends the futile oppositions between optimists and pessimists or technophiles and technophobes, this rough categorization of opportunities and dangers, from both children’s and adults’ perspectives, organizes what follows.

In addition to this, I will try to avoid the rhetoric of moral panic, doubled by the "moral quality of the discourse of innocence" (Meyer, 2007) intertwined with the sacralisation of childhood.

While on one hand, there is the mainstream panic voice that calls for safety precautions when surfing the Web (doubled by the fear that adults will not be able to keep pace with the technological perspective), on the other hand we have the perspective of skilled, rational, utilitarian adults, using the Internet for various instrumental purposes, including sexually related.

From the latter, two theoretical ideas about dating practices of adults investigated by Peter and Valkenburg (2007) have caught my attention: the compensation hypothesis (looking for casual dates online in order to compensate for shortcomings in offline dating, e.g.

First, a safe assumption would be that teenagers tend to keep their Internet communication ties in their close circle of friends and real-life acquaintances (peers), rather than adventuring outside (Barbovschi & Diaconescu, 2008, Annex, p.250).

low physical self-esteem, high dating anxiety) and the recreation hypothesis (sexually permissive people and high-sensation seekers who value the anonymity of the Internet).

However, in the case of teenagers, specific conditions such as peer pressure and the nature of the online communication might work in a completely different direction: popular teenagers, with high physical and social self-esteem might have a higher probability to engage in online-offline dating (due to the high visibility to their circle of friends, classmates or schoolmates).

parental monitoring, identity management (disclosure and dissimulation), exposure to unsolicited (and deliberate) sexual material and unwanted solicitations online, use of Social Networking Sites (SNS), and several psychosocial factors. use of Instant Messaging (IM), the amount of time spent online, and positive social self-concept appear to influence both boys’ and girls’ decision for online-offline dating.

Other items, like parental monitoring and exposure to sexually explicit content, showed ambivalent relation to the investigated behavior.

The purpose of this study is to investigate several factors associated with adolescents’ online-offline dating behavior (On-Off Dating), i.e.

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