Online Sexual Offenders: Typologies, Assessment, Treatment, and Prevention
Open Access: No
To shed light on men who sexually offend online, this chapter synthesizes the research on this subgroup of sexual offenders against children, with a focus on typologies, assessment, treatment issues, and prevention strategies for online offenders. It reviews the typologies proposed for three large groups of offenders against children—consumers of child sexual exploitation material (CSEM), sexual solicitors of children, and contact sexual offenders—recognizing that while typologies provide a helpful summary of research findings, individual offenders may display features of more than one offender type or may change from one set of motives and behaviors to another. For some men, use of legal pornography precedes use of CSEM. However, for various reasons, surfing legal pornography websites sometime leads to consumption of CSEM. The majority of intervention programs for online sexual offenders represent adaptations of existing programs for contact offenders, with adjustment of the overall intensity of the treatment and some specific components.