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Explanations given by child pornography offenders for their crimes

Faculty Advisor




child pornography, internet offending, motives for crime, explanations, paedophilia, sexual deviance

Abstract (summary)

The explanations given by child pornography offenders for their crimes were explored in two samples, one interviewed by the police as part of a criminal investigation and the second assessed by clinicians following a child pornography conviction. There were many similarities across the two samples with regard to demographic characteristics, criminal history and explanations. Many offenders in both samples admitted possession of child pornography, a majority admitted they deliberately accessed child pornography, and substantial minorities acknowledged their sexual interest in child pornography and/or children. Similar proportions claimed curiosity or accidental access. Relatively few offenders reported internet addiction, child pornography as a substitute for contact offending or indiscriminate sexual interests. There was evidence to suggest that the recently arrested offenders were more sexually deviant, as they were more likely to have images of boys, larger collections, images depicting sexual violence or other paraphilic content and more involvement in online trading and communication.

Publication Information

Michael C. Seto, Lesley Reeves & Sandy Jung (2010) Explanations given by child pornography offenders for their crimes, Journal of Sexual Aggression, 16:2, 169-180, DOI: 10.1080/13552600903572396


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