Internet Utilization By Sex Offenders Term Paper

Length: 12 pages Sources: 7 Subject: Women's Issues - Sexuality Type: Term Paper Paper: #24005966 Related Topics: History Of The Internet, Sex Offenders, Avatar, Internet Addiction
Excerpt from Term Paper :

Sex Offenders and the Internet

The types of sexual habits occurring online range from very unusual behaviors to others that are plain illegal (Caroline & Klein, 2014). A considerable amount of literature on sexual abuse of minors occurring and getting promoted online is being developed although there is a scarcity of information concerning other internet sexual based interactions that touch on manufacturing, dissemination and online viewing of sexual materials (Carolina & Klein, 2014).

This paper focuses on exploration and analysis of different practices including rape videos, sadomasochism leading to body disfigurement, zoophilic and necrophilia with the aim being to reduce information gap. In addition, impacts of sexual behavior on clinical and forensic psychiatry as well as legal regulations and ethical considerations are discussed (Carolina & Klein, 2014).

Common cases on online Sex offenders

Cybercrimes are an enhancement of traditional crimes whose scale is enlarged by computer usage, networks and other ICT development. They are not typical cybercrimes because they can occur without ICT. Sexual offense against children is one of the most common cyber enabled crime (Dowling & McGuire, 2013). A common sexual online offense is child pornography, possession and distribution as well as youth soliciting for sexual purposes (Bachishin, Hanson & Seto, 2011). This category of online sexual offenses has two common scenarios.

The first being online grooming focuses on use of online technology to enhance online and offline sexual contact with minors. Offline grooming takes place in areas where children frequent most such as parks, shopping centers and schools. For online setups, these happen in chat rooms, social networking sites as well as gaming sites that allow sexual offenders to approach children (Dowling & McGuire, 2013). Some offenders aim at meeting minors in this manner to commit the offence although the internet limits sexual interactions to an online environment. This gives offenders an opportunity to fulfill their motivations without risking meeting the child in person (Dowling & McGuire, 2013). This is labeled by the child exploitation and online protection center (CEOPC) as online child sexual exploitation (OCSE). The intention is to recognize this form of abuse whose impacts remains online as opposed to offline (child exploitation and online protection center, 2013a). Offenders may pretend to be of a similar age or use threats and blackmail to lure the minor to comply with his or her demands (Dowling and MacGuire, 2013).

The second case is where children are exposed to indecent images of children (IIOC) generated and distributed by digital technologies. The challenge however rests in defining indecency. According to UK government IIOC refers to still and moving images as well as pseudo-photographs, depicting children as part of sexual exploitation and abuse scenarios (Dowling & MacGuire, 2013) and the effects of sexual activity grabs attention due to the unknown physical effects (Carolina & Klein, 2014). There is hardly any difference between offenders that groom, make, distribute, and download unlawful images, non-contact online abuse forms, such as encouraging young people to engage in cybersex or watching and exchanging these images of themselves through webcams. Law requires some internet sexual abusers to stick to the internet, which allows for twisting of children protection. CEOP identified the major threats for sexual exploitation and abuse (Dowling & MacGuire, 2014).

Other serious sexual offences are also facilitated online (Dowling & MacGuire, 2013). This is inclusive of human trafficking for sexual purposes using online tools, rape facilitation, prostitution or sex tourism, use of camera phones and webcams to create offensive images, virtual sex offences as well as triggering child offences by online incitement and conspiracy (Dowling & MacGuire, 2013).

Scope of sex offence over the internet

Internet users in North America alone includes over 270 million users all doing different things. Online services include social networking, educational programs, video streaming both live and recorded, instant and worldwide communications, classified ad posts, virtual gaming in addition to all other services. These activities may trigger online sexual activities (OSA). Cybersex (cybering, netsex or mudsex) refers to two people role-playing sexually and may or may not include masturbation.


Some of these games were designed intentionally for cybersex (Carolina & Klein, 2014). Online predatory behaviors though rare have been identified through research to be a case of some people preferring the online access mode. Additional studies indicate that relating offenders and social networking sites' targeting behavior is a more effective approach compared to locating specific online location where offences occur (Carolina & Klein, 2014). The focus in this approach teaches victims how to protect themselves and report suspicious websites. There exist web forums providing support and advice without necessarily encouraging criminal acts. A good example is where pedophile communities encourage sexual interactions with minors in both virtual and real setups (Carolina & Klein, 2014).

Distribution of pornographic materials has existed ever since the internet inception promoting its thriving. These materials have a wide range in terms of participants, practices and extent of graphic disclosure. Even though cybersex involves consenting adults, it sometimes raises a lot of questions (Carolina & Klein, 2014). Some of the illegal activities include paid sexual service procurement, sex trafficking and pornography involving minors. In this case a minor is any person under the age of 18 as defined in most states although others approve over 16 although attaining the legal age allows one to participate in sexual activities it is still illegal to showcase such activity (Carolina & Klein, 2014).

Sexual abuse occurring online involves children being groomed and incited to engage in sexual activity such as chats, sexual photo and video generation (Whittle, 2013). In some cases, they may be encouraged to meet offline. Such victims tend to struggle with added complexities (including associating the home with such abuse, images being distributed online as well as the situation turning out to be permanent) when dealing with the abuse hence the need to overcome the assumption that non-contact sex abuse victims are not affected as much as those suffering through contact sexual abuse. Some of the common abuse comes through solicitation that may result in contact abuse (Whittle, 2013)

Other illegal scenarios are depicted by pornographic images that are gathered around without the consent of participants through the use of peep cameras, brutal bonding and discipline submissiveness, dominance, masochism and sadism (Carolina & Klein, 2014). BDSM may be permitted for consenting adults but some websites show minors highly intoxicated, injured or hurt (Carolina & Klein, 2014). Real life events including gang rape, bestiality, rape and necrophilia (U.S. has no laws regarding necrophilia as well as having different laws varying depending on the state in question) need to be paid attention to. In addition, incest and autoerotic asphyxiation portray fatalities (Carolina & Klein, 2014).

Studies have compared different sexual internet offenders (SEMc online) as well as contact sex offenders (actual sexual offenders on minors and children). The focus on such studies is on key variables like self-report psychological variable assessments both sexual and official as well a self-reported history (Elliot, Beech & Norden, 2013). The general analysis indicate that online offenders can be distinguished from contact offenders due to their lower empathy deficits, less distorted attitudes and beliefs (cognitive distortions) concerning appropriateness of sexual contact between adults and children (Elliot, Beech & Norden, 2013).

Although many internet facilitated sexual offences exist (IF-CSEC) (Robert, 2012) very few are reported. AU.S. study indicates that in 2006 only 569 of 1051 cases came through IF-CSEC. Offenders were categorized in two main groups. The first group was that of offenders that used internet to purchase or sell children access for sexual purposes (child pornography production) while the second group used these online services to purchase and sell the child pornography images they possess and did not produce (Robert, 2012). Offenders trying to profit commercially have been arrested for sexual or non-sexual offences previously, violent history, child pornography production and collaboration with other offenders, women included (Robert, 2012).

Key participants in sexual offense over the internet

There is a need to differentiate between online sex offenders, users and victims of offenses. Below are some of the classifications of offenders:

Chat room sex offenders

This category of sexual offenders stands out from offline offenders. These have lower criminal cases than those who do the actual abuse. They can be subdivided into various contact driven subgroups (those that strive to meet the person) and fantasy driven subgroup (those who have no intention to meet offline). The interesting fact is that two thirds of these offenders initiate their first sexual conversation during the first chat.

Internet pedophiles

Child sex offenders found online are usually young, single, staying alone and childless. Another study has focused on antisocial behaviors and social effective activities. Social affective traits refer to emotional development elements that affects the social being or response to social environment (Carolina & Klein, 2014). This can also influence a person's social subculture and social interactions. The activities encompassed here involve those…

Sources Used in Documents:


Babchishin, K. Hanson, R., & Seto, M (2011). Contact sexual offending by men with online sexual offenses. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 23, 124-145.

Baharudin, F., & Zakaria, Z. (2012). Adolescents and Internet Sex Addiction. USIM

Carolina, A.. & Klein, MD. (2014). Digital and Divergent: Sexual Behaviors on the Internet. J Am Acad Psychiatry Law 42:495 -- 503.

Elliott, A., Beech, R., & Norden, R. (2013). Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment 25(1) 3 -- 20

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