"So why did you do it?": explanations provided by child pornography offenders

Merdian, Hannah Lena and Wilson, Nick and Thakker, Jo and Curtis, Cate and Boer, Doug P. (2013) "So why did you do it?": explanations provided by child pornography offenders. Sexual Offender Treatment, 8 (1). pp. 1-19. ISSN 1862-2941

Full content URL: http://www.sexual-offender-treatment.org/117.html

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Abstract

child pornography offending for the individual offender: Why is someone looking at child
pornography and what needs are met with this behaviour? The limited research in this area has
mainly focused on information extracted from interview transcripts, which is likely biased by the
offender's situation at the time.
Material/Method: Using a computerised online survey, child pornography offenders (with and
without contact sex offences against minors) were questioned anonymously about their motivations
to start viewing child pornography material.
Results: Thematic Analysis lead to the development of a topical map that revealed four main
themes in their offence motivations: (1) no (direct) explanation provided, (2) initial triggers of their
child pornography consumption, (3) emotional reasons, and (4) sexual reasons. These themes were
analysed with regards to their subthemes, their relationship with each other and to the offending
behaviour. Offender characteristics differed between the thematic groups. In addition, "pure" child
pornography offenders were more likely than offenders with contact victims to provide more than
one explanation for their behaviour. Individuals with contact offences were found more likely to
admit a sexual interest in children.
Conclusions: These findings point to the value of a motivation-based offender typology. For
treatment providers, the assessment of offence motivations appears as a promising source about
an individual's risks and needs.

Keywords:child pornography, child sexual exploitation material, sex offending, offence motivations, offender typology, cognitive distortions
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C840 Clinical Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:11331
Deposited On:26 Jul 2013 12:55

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