Internet Sex Offenders

July 11, 2011
  • Internet sex offenders appear to be different than contact sex offenders (Tomak, Weschler, Ghahramanlou-Holloway, Virden, & Nademin, 2009; Babchishin, Hanson, & Hermann, 2011; Seto, Hanson, & Babchishin, 2011)                          
    • they appear less deviant
    • less physically aggressive
    • less impulsive
    • caucasian
    • slightly younger
    • greater victim empathy
    • greater sexual diviancy
    • lower impression management
    • greater self-control
    • more psychological barriers to acting on their deviant interests
    • 1 in 8 internet sex offenders had a known contact sexual offense history
    • prevelance rate of contact sexual offenses were higher when self-report was used, with about half of the internet sex offenders admitting to a contact sexual offense
    • less than 5% of internet sex offenders were caught for a new sexual or violent offense                                       
  • Actuarial risk assessment measures with internet sex offenders(Osborn, Elliott, Middleton, & Beech, 2010)
    • Risk is usually measured in two forms:
      • Clinical assessment
      • Actuarial assessment
    • Both the standard version of RM2000 and static 99 overestimate the risk levels of internet sex offenders
    • No current actuarial measures appropriate for exclusive internet sex offenders
  • Risk factors for internet sex offenders(Seto, Hanson, & Babchishin, 2011)
    • prior criminal history, sexual or nonsexual, were more likely to reoffend
    • substance abuse
    • self-reported sexual interest in children
    • low education
    • history of prior sex offender treatment
    • being single
    • possessing child pornography depicting children ages 13 - 15

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