The University of Maryland conducted a survey with a result we probably all knew the outcome from in advance: woman and girls on IRC receive up to 25 times more sexually oriented chat requests then their male counterparts.
When using a nick that resembled a female name, the researchers received an average of 163 malicious requests per day, while chatting with a nick that did not show their gender only 4 to 25 times a day.
The females also received more files and links then their male counterparts in the research.
“Parents should consider alerting their children to these risks, and advising young people to create gender-free or ambiguous usernames,” said one of the researchers. “Kids can still exercise plenty of creativity and self-expression without divulging their gender.”