Vietnam is coming to terms with the dark side of greater global internet interaction as ‘sex chat’ becomes increasingly common.
Associate Prof. Trinh Hoa Binh, from the Institute of Sociology, described sex chat as a deviatory behaviour.
According to Binh, ‘sex chat’ stems from psychological need among young people to exercise curiosity and experience things that are strange, new or banned.
Young people want to define their individualism but lack basic life skills, so they are easily seduced by sex chat.
Many people also enjoy the experience in order to keep up with their friends, he added.
Dr. Nguyen Quynh Hoa, from Institute of Youths, said sex chat booms when young people feel repressed or overly controlled, and information technology provided another avenue for teenage rebellion and trend setting.
“Sex chat carries a great threat to people’s lifestyles. They may be encouraged to not only take off their clothes but to engage in other more worrying acts,” Hoa warned.
“There has been no serious research into the cause and consequences of deviatory behaviour towards sexual issues among young people in general and sex chat in particular,” said Dr. Dang Vu Canh Linh, Director of the the Institute for Development and Communication (IDC).
Despite there being no firm evidence, Linh claimed that indulging in sex chat for long periods of time could lead to an unhealthy lifestyle. She suggested that it could cause autism and undermine an individual’s dignity and harm their reproductive and mental health.
She further claimed that such behaviour could act as a catalyst for anti-social and criminal behaviour.
“Their behaviour is harmful to the country’s cultural and traditional values,” she added.
Drastic measures needed
According to Associate Prof. Trinh Hoa Binh, in order to deal with the problem, families should pay more attention to their children.
“Parents should have the confidence of their children, so that they can share their emotions,” Binh suggested.
Binh recommended that parents should not leave their children alone with computers, as they could be encouraged to indulge in unhealthy means of entertainment.
Dr. Dang Vu Canh Linh emphasised the importance of sex education at school in order to provide a moral and health framework for young people’s sexual understanding.
Difficult to manage?
An anonymous inspector of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said it was extremely difficult to control sex chat if domestic personal computers. It would be better if parents took more responsibility for the actions of their children.
An official from an internet provider admitted that the misuse of the internet was beyond their control.
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