London: Women are finding it increasingly difficult to move on once a relationship has ended because Facebook invites them to stalk their former lovers via the internet.
Experts have likened the habit of following ex-boyfriends on the web to the lure of online gambling.
According to the first British study into cyber-stalking, around 35 per cent of victims are now men, with virtually all their cases perpetrated by women.
Offline, just eight per cent of harassment victims are male, with female stalkers a rarity.
Dr Emma Short, a psychologist at the University of Bedfordshire, has had hundreds of responses to an online survey as part of her research with the Network for Surviving Stalking.
Her findings reveal women leave unwanted messages for their ex-partners on their Facebook pages, send inappropriate emails and set up fake accounts to lure them into communicating with them. "Facebook makes stalking more acceptable and removes the aspect of physical fear," she said.
"Women who would not be able to overpower men physically can have a go at them online."