Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.727051
Title: Paedophile activity on the internet
Author: O'Connell, Rachel
Awarding Body: University of Central Lancashire
Current Institution: University of Central Lancashire
Date of Award: 2005
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Abstract:
The main aim of this thesis was to explore the nature, scope and extent of paedophile activity online. A variety of both qualitative and quantitative methodologies were employed during the three studies that comprise this thesis. Study I The aim of Study I was to test the hypothesis, which stated that there are patterns of association between distinct categories of content of child abuse images that are observable, measurable and can be modelled. The findings of this study appear to support the hypothesis. The analysis of two-way interactions indicated that, in this sample, older children were less likely to appear in sexually explicit material. There were a greater number of Caucasian than non-Caucasian children in this sample, and non-Caucasians were less likely to appear in Erotic imagery and were more likely than Caucasians to be depicted Naked. The analysis provides insights into the preferences of adults interested in child abuse images and the particular groups of children who are more at risk of coercion into this type of activity. Furthermore, loglinear modelling resulted in three 3-way and two 4-way interactions being identified that summarized the patterns and trends present in the data. The application of the techniques outlined in this paper in future programmes of research will afford law enforcement agencies the facility to examine behaviours associated with child abuse images in greater depth. Study 2: The aim of Study 2 was to examine how adults and adolescents with a sexual interest in children communicate with one another online. A participant observation methodology was employed in this study, which involved over 38 hours and 48 minutes in a number of child-sex related chat rooms, i.e. 'Toddle rsex, 'Kiddyfucking', 'Dadaughtersex'. The analysis of conversations gathered in Study 2 provide insights into the nature of the activities adults with a sexual interest in children collectively engage in online, e.g., collective generation and exchange of both child-sex related fantasies and details of alleged experiences and also role-playing activities. The findings of this study suggest that the behaviours engaged in by adults with a sexual interest in children are not necessarily qualitatively dWerent to those engaged in by, for example, Massively Multi Player Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) players. The findings of Study 2 raise a host of research questions such as, for example, whether or not, it would be possible to develop a means to calibrate the extent of an individual's engagement, involvement or immersion in online child-sex related activities and what, if any, relationship exists between varying degrees of an individual's involvement, engagement and/or immersion in online child-sex related activities and the likelihood to offend against children. Study 3 The aim of Study 3 was to explore the processes that characterise online 'grooming' of children by adults and adolescents with a sexual interest in children in teen chat rooms. A participant observation methodology was employed and the researcher/author posed as an 8, 10 or 12 year old child. The behavioural repertoires of adults with a sexual interest in children who interact with children online for sexual purposes were identified The findings of this study provide preliminary insights into various stages of online grooming processes including, for example, the victim selection phase, friendship forming phase, relationship forming, risk assessment, exclusivity and sexual phases. The findings of Study 3 also identified a variety of tactics employed by adults with a sexual interest in children during each stage of the grooming process. In Chapter 12 the findings of Study 3 were juxtaposed with Knight and Prentky's (1990) taxonomic model, i.e., Massachusetts Treatment Centre: Child Molester Typology, version 3 (MT: CM3), not only to explore the findings of Study 3 in greater depth but also to map future programmes of research. The findings of the three studies reported in this thesis have a number of implications not only for future programmes of research but also at an operational policing level. The findings also contribute toward an increased understanding of the nature, scope and extent of paedophile activity online.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.727051  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Internet
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