Chat for cybersex
In these studies, researchers have found that text based virtual environments (chat rooms, IRC chat channels, and MUDs) are places where users can experiment with identity and gender (re)construction (Reid 1991, 1994; Turkle 1995), form new friendships (Baym, 1996), and join together with other users in the building of virtual communities (Rheingold 1991, 1995; Lichty 1994).Most of the existing social scientific research of the online world has been ethnographic.Given the prevalence of ethnographic methodology in the study of social phenomenon in text based virtual environments, it is surprising that it's use in cyberspace has yet to be analysed in any great detail.
Below I will briefly describe this research to give readers an idea of the focus and findings of the study which I undertook.
Following this, I will discuss several of the problems encountered by researchers of cyberspace.
These include the unavailability of data on the parameters of the population and the necessary dependence upon online interviews and questionnaires rather than face to face interviews.
One of the most fascinating dimensions of online chat and cybersex are the ways that their medium, the Internet, allows people to reconfigure relationships between self, body, and social interaction.
Online chat participants discursively write a self into existence in a disembodied medium that allows for extreme fluidity and multiplicity; cybersex participants evoke bodies in words and images, manipulating relationships between selfhood and the corporeal body.