In addition to its power and reach for rapid information exchange, the
Internet has generated a new debate: does it fundamentally change the way
we lead our lives? That the Internet has revolutionized communications and
business practices worldwide is clearly recognized. That the Internet may
have some psychological effects on individual behavior, molded perhaps by
the technology itself, has now been noted. Newly described behavioral disorders
possibly linked to Internet use include Internet-related depression1,2 and cybersex addiction.3- 5
Recent reports have suggested that fully one third of adult Internet visits
are directed to sexually oriented Web sites, chat rooms, and news groups,4 where Internet users can observe sexual images or
participate in online sexual discussions with individuals or groups. Although
cybersex may be considered within the broad realm of sexually related behaviors,
it carries no risk for sexually transmitted disease (STD) transmission because
no direct physical contact occurs. In contrast, use of the Internet to identify
sex partners for actual (rather than virtual) sexual activity does impose
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