Fantasy-driven versus contact-driven users of child sexual exploitation material: offender classification and implications for their risk assessment

Merdian, Hannah Lena and Moghaddam, Nima and Boer, Douglas P. and Wilson, Nick and Thakker, Jo and Curtis, Cate and Dawson, Dave (2018) Fantasy-driven versus contact-driven users of child sexual exploitation material: offender classification and implications for their risk assessment. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 30 (3). pp. 230-253. ISSN 1079-0632

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1177/1079063216641109

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Fantasy-driven versus contact-driven users of child sexual exploitation material: offender classification and implications for their risk assessment
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Abstract

Since the advent of the internet, convictions for the possession, display, trading and distribution of child sexual exploitation material (CSEM) have risen steadily, but little is known about the appropriate assessment and treatment of this offender group, especially in regards to their risk of reoffending. It has been suggested that a conceptual distinction of fantasy- vs. contact-driven CSEM users might be of merit. Sixty-eight offenders recruited from sex offender treatment providers were assessed via an anonymous computer survey including a variety of clinical and risk-related variables; the findings showed differences in the psychological profiles between CSEM users and contact child sex offenders. Numerical and spatial methods were employed to identify subgroups of CSEM users; these confirmed the two-fold distinction of fantasy vs. contact driven offending. The spatial representation of participants identified three dimensions as crucial in the classification of these subgroups: direct sexual contact with a minor, possession of fantasy-generating material, and social contact with other users with a sexual interest in minors, potentially differentiating distinct offender subgroups with different risks and needs. The current study informed the development of an empirical model of CSEM users that could aid in the assessment of risk of reoffending and cross-over to contact sex offending.

Keywords:child sexual exploitation material, child sexual abuse, cognitive distortions
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C810 Applied Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C840 Clinical Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
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ID Code:22834
Deposited On:10 Apr 2016 17:21

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