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"Gender stereotypes and gender-targeted messages are very prevalent in internet chat rooms.Some people use the protected anonymity of the Internet to send provocative messages, often basing their assumptions about the recipient of the messages on very little information," adds Melanie Killen, professor of human development in the university's College of Education and associate director of the Center for Children, Relationships and Culture.Part of wooing a woman is making her feel comfortable and allowing her to trust you.This is especially important when you’re online dating because you are a stranger to her and have no friends or family members vouching for you. James Clark School of Engineering found that chat room participants with female usernames received 25 times more threatening and/or sexually explicit private messages than those with male or ambiguous usernames.Female usernames, on average, received 163 malicious private messages a day in the study, conducted by Michel Cukier, assistant professor in the Center for Risk and Reliability in the Clark School's Department of Mechanical Engineering, and an affiliate of the university's Institute for Systems Research, and sophomore computer engineering student Robert Meyer.
The researchers logged into various chatrooms under female, male and ambiguous usernames, counted the number of times they were contacted and tracked the contents of those messages."Parents should be very concerned, but they are closing their eyes to it because they don't know how to deal with it." Killen advises parents to start talking with their kids around age 10.She urges parents not to use heavy-handed warnings or to ban their children from chatting online.Be respectful, but don’t forget to show off your sense of humour. I was in Italy this past summer myself – loved the food and history. A call to action prompts the user to respond and much sooner than they otherwise would.: Hey Tallblondecanuck, I really enjoyed reading your profile. Although your instincts are to end with something like “Hope to hear from you soon” or “Chat later”, try your best to ignore these instincts and ask a question that relates to their description, interests or photos.