Information sources about face-to-face meetings with people from the Internet : Gendered influence on adolescents’ risk perception and behavior


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Year of publication 2021
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source New Media & Society
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Keywords Adolescence; gender differences; information sources; online socializing; people from the Internet; risk perception
Description Adolescents commonly make new social connections online that sometimes result in face-to-face meetings. Despite potential benefits, risk-focused discourse dominates public debates and shapes information shared by sources important for adolescents-news media, preventive programs, peers, parents, and teachers. Our study examines how information about face-to-face meetings from these sources relates to adolescents’ risk perception and engagement in such meetings. Using a sample of 707 Czech adolescents (aged 11–16?years, 46% male), we analyzed these effects for male and female adolescents to reflect the gendered nature of the risk-focused discourse. Male adolescents’ risk perception was not affected by information from any source. Female adolescents’ risk perception was negatively affected by information peers with prior experience with face-to-face meetings but not by other information sources. Female adolescents also perceived face-to-face meetings as riskier in general. We discuss gender differences and the limited impact of information sources on risk perception and provide practical recommendations.
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