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Study finds 1 in 2 people have had a virtual relationship

By Darren Mew

Anti-bullying charity ‘Ditch the Label’ have done a studying Exploring Relationships & Sexuality in the 21st Century. The study is called The Valentine Study to coincide with Valentines day.

The report looked into online relationships with young people. It found that 1 in 2, out of the 1006 young people surveyed, people have been in a virtual relationship with someone they have never met. With 69% of those surveyed who identified as gay or lesbian saying they have had a virtual same sex relationships online proving that the internet is possibly a safe space for people to explore their sexuality.

The study also showed that young people are much more open-minded when it comes down to relationships. Apparently, 93% of the participant felt it was OK to explore your sexuality, with less than half saying they don’t see themselves as 100% straight.

According to the research, young people were more  likely to flirt and kiss someone of the same gender, however when it came down to relationships and marriage the majority (58%) wanted to settle down with the opposite sex.

However, the survey did show that (62%) people still thought that if you are not completely straight you are more likely to be bullied. As well as, 20% saying they had been bullied because of attitudes towards sexuality.

CEO of Ditch the Label, Liam Hackett, said: “Young people who do not identify as being exclusively attracted to members of the opposite sex, those with a disability, those who identify as transgendered or respondents from lower-income backgrounds are the most likely to have engaged in a virtual relationship with somebody online.

“While virtual relationships are often blamed for a wider disconnection between people, this report forces us to acknowledge the positives of conducting a romantic relationship in such a way.”