Internet-Facilitated Child Sexual Exploitation Crimes

Internet-Facilitated Child Sexual Exploitation Crimes

Keith F. Durkin (Ohio Northern University, USA) and Ronald L. DeLong (University of Dayton, USA)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2255-3.ch117
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Abstract

Internet crimes against children are a problematic yet often misunderstood phenomenon. Prominent examples of these offenses include child pornography crimes, adults soliciting minors online, and the commercialized sexual exploitation of minors (e.g., human trafficking). Drawing upon recent research, the characteristics of offenses, offenders, and victims are examined. A multitude of issues related to the psychological assessment, classification, and treatment of the individuals who commit these offenses are also explored. Strategies for the prevention of this behavior and protection of minors online are discussed.
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Background

Internet crimes against are defined as those offenses that include an element of computer-facilitated sexual exploitation of minors (Alexy, Burgess, & Baker, 2005). First, the Internet is now the main mechanism for accessing and distributing child pornography. Second is the well-publicized problem of adults soliciting minors for sex. Third, the Internet is used to facilitate the commercial sexual exploitation of children (e.g., sex trafficking of juveniles, commercial distribution of child pornography). Fourth, the Internet serves as a social consolidation mechanism allowing adults with a sexual interest in children to network with each other. Additionally, the Internet plays a secondary role in the victimization of children by allowing offenders who have a pre-existing relationship with a minor (e.g., family members or acquaintances) to use this medium to facilitate contact offending.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Internet-Facilitated Child Sexual Exploitation: Offenses in which Internet technology is utilized for purposes of sexually exploiting minors.

Traders: Individuals who traffic and/or collect child pornography.

Child Molester: Any adult who engages in any type of sexual contact with an individual legally defined as a child.

Pedophilia: A psychiatric disorder involving an adult who experiences a primary or exclusive sexual attraction to prepubescent children (13-years-old or younger).

Travelers: Individuals who use the Internet attempting to solicit minors for sexual purposes.

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