"People who are vulnerable can get hooked before they know it." To those who say a behavioral compulsion is not a true addiction, Dr.
As mentioned above, sexual harassment on the Internet can occur in a number of ways.A common form of sexual harassment on the Internet occurs when a harasser sends unwanted, abusive, threatening, or obscene messages to a victim via e-mail or instant messaging."This is a hidden public health hazard exploding, in part, because very few are recognizing it as such or taking it seriously," Dr. As a result, the diagnosis of cybersex addiction is often missed, Dr. Especially vulnerable to becoming hooked on Internet sex, he wrote, are "those users whose sexuality may have been suppressed and limited all their lives [who] suddenly find an infinite supply of sexual opportunities" on the Internet. Dana Putnam, a psychologist in San Luis Obispo, Calif., said other factors that could increase a person's vulnerability to cybersex compulsion were depression and other forms of emotional distress, relationship problems and a failure to get one's sexual needs met. Schneider among 94 family members affected by cybersex addiction revealed that the problem could arise even among those in loving marriages with ample sexual opportunities."Sex on the Net is just so seductive and it's so easy to stumble upon it," she said.Several mothers in her survey were worried because their husbands surfed the Net while supposedly watching their children, who got to view the pornography and sometimes the masturbation.
Children may also suffer as a result of increasing conflict between the parents or breakup of the marriage.
The ever-increasing use of the Internet in the past twenty to thirty years has served as a medium for sexual harassment that has, until recently, gone relatively unnoticed.
While the Internet has provided an array of benefits and advantages for today's society, its darker side has substantially emerged as Internet users are being subjected to online discrimination, sexual harassment, identity theft, cyberstalking, and cyberbullying on a daily basis.
Cybersex compulsives can become so involved with their online activities that they ignore their partners and children and risk their jobs. Cooper's survey, 20 percent of the men and 12 percent of the women reported they had used computers at work for some sexual pursuits.
Many companies now monitor employees' online activities, and repeated visits to sexually oriented sites have cost people their jobs. Schneider, who has written extensively on sexual addiction, responds that the damage to a cybersex addict's life and family can be as devastating as that caused by compulsive gambling or addiction to alcohol or drugs.
And even if the marriage survives, children may lack adequate parental attention when one parent is preoccupied with sex on the computer and the other is preoccupied with the cybersex addict.