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Research shows that more males than females use chat rooms, said Mileham, who found it difficult to get women to respond to her survey.
Females are usually bombarded with messages and can pick and choose which messages they respond to, she said.
Many reported that what started as innocent, friendly exchanges progressed quickly to strong desires for sexual relationships, she said.
Al Cooper, a leading expert in the field of Internet sexuality and the author of the book "Sex and the Internet: A Guidebook for Clinicians," said Mileham's research is important in helping to understand this increasingly common phenomenon.
"We are hearing from therapists around the country reporting online sexual activity to be a major cause of marital problems," Cooper said.
Said one such man, "While I'm on the computer my wife just assumes I'm writing a report for work." Another man said his wife, who knew what he was doing and didn't like it, looked over his shoulder sometimes while he was typing, Mileham said.
Much of the Internet's appeal to married people is the anonymity it guarantees, coupled with the no-touching aspect, which they view as a license to be sexual, Mileham said.