A warning to parents: Older men seeking young girls on Web is increasing

Published: Saturday, Aug. 24 2013 5:30 p.m. MDT

"Sometimes it may be girls that are not feeling good about themselves … and somebody older is showing interest in them, and so that becomes very validating," Oxman said. "I think you would take 10 girls and it would be 10 different kind of things."

One question Oxman tries to get the children she counsels to consider is: "Why do you think this older guy was having this communication with you instead of someone his own age?"

Layton said he believes "it's a power thing. It's a power trip for those guys."

And one of the driving factors of older men seeking young girls online is a shift in trends in the pornography industry, he said. The most popular porn sites currently are those that involve young girls, he said.

"Porn has changed everything as far as relationships go, as far as how we perceive sex, what it does to relationships," Layton said. "In my opinion, that's the big difference — the availability of it."

Huddleston said she believes there is a "total disconnect" in older men who want to be with young girls that needs to be addressed.

"I think if men really understood that when they participate in pornography or in these kinds of things, they are actually committing a crime against their own mothers, their own family members and just womanhood in general," she said. "These people are past feeling. They have to have more exciting stimulus because they're past feeling."

Parental involvement

Both Layton and Oxman agree the best solution to the problem is for parents to educate their children and have frank discussions with their daughters.

"If parents do not sit down with their kids and be very, very blunt and straightforward with their kids," Layton said, then pausing. "Law enforcement doesn't fix anything. We don't prevent a single thing. We clean it up."

Huddleston jokingly said she initially considered moving to a deserted island with no Internet access when she got her daughter back.

"Early in the week, my mind went straight to security, and passwords and lockdown and just everything I could do, like get rid of Wi-Fi and move to the woods," she said. "I'm serious. I was just ready to find an island and take my family and never come back."

And while security is important, Huddleston said the real way she is going to prevent this from happening again is to develop a stronger relationship with her daughter.

"If you just go around putting controls on everything, kids are too smart. … They're going to go to their friends' houses. They're going to get on their friends' computers … and they're going to do what they want," she said.

Huddleston said she does not plan to ban Facebook in her house.

"I don't think we're going to take it away because I think when you go try to control a person, they just become more deceitful and more determined to do what they want to do," she said.

"My plan is to just get more involved, like make her really try to understand what just happened, what the commotion was about, why we were upset. And I want to help her see what real friends are, by making her look at my Facebook page and let her see what real friends look like and what kinds of things real friends say."

Indica's Facebook "friends" who raised red flags with her family were men who had a "more possessive" tone when talking to the teen. Huddleston said she was going to go through all of her daughter's Facebook friends with her and "unfriend" those she doesn't really know.

"There's probably no reason why they should be having communication with an older guy," Oxman said.

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