|This was an essay that I did for criminology class, and it got me thinking, we should really be concerned! I have absolutely no issues with people of different sexual preference, and hope that I'm not offending anyone by using them as a point in my essay. The concept I'm trying to reach is that through the internet, pedophiles are connecting with each other, joining groups and chat-rooms, looking to each other for sympathy. They consider their attraction to children just as justifiable as Men who love other men. Who's to say that in a few years, pedophiles will be more open with who they are and what they do? This issue has me a little worried, and I really hope that I'm wrong!
*No offence was meant to be given in this essay, and I apologize if anyone finished reading this with a frown on their face. Feel free to email me about any displeasure.
With the invention of the internet, more and more doors have been opened for those with criminal intent. As one article states, the main focus on internet-crime prevention has been on white collar crime. Compared to billions of dollars being embezzled from the government, not many sources can be used on monitoring the activity of possible pedophiles internet usage. “The term pedophile applies to people who have a sexual interest in pre-pubescent children.” Because of the internet, it is far easier for pedophiles to gain access to the pornographic content that they desire. The benefits for pedophiles that use the internet are anonymity, accessibility to the material, and a wider variety of targets.
At the top of a pedophile’s priority list is not to get caught. Pedophiles have been exposed as not only strangers but as close friends and family members as well. Among the many characteristics that are supposed to point out a pedophile, the most surprising are: “attention seeking, need for admiration”, and “need to be taken care of.” This suggests that Pedophiles would find it necessary to lead a sort of double life, dealing with their urges at one time and becoming s completely different man for their neighbours. A pedophile who craves acceptance cannot condone a blemish such as inappropriate sexual preference, so it must be hidden at all cost. With the internet, a whole new kind of sexual offender is bred, one that uses “the computer network to transmit child pornography, to locate children to molest, and to communicate with other pedophiles ” and all practically without a trace . These people are called Internet Sex Offenders (ISO). To continue with the characteristics of pedophiles, a stereotypical list of traits stand out: “Paranoia, Antisocial behaviour, instability of interpersonal relationships with impulsive traits, and feelings of inadequacy.” This is a common list of characteristics of almost anyone who turns to the internet for contact. It is all too easy in today’s society to hide behind a computer. People are afraid to socialize so they live on-line. The same is true for ISOs.
Next on the list is ease of access. The internet itself suggests that “paraphilic appetites are being satisfied online through newsgroups, e-mail, websites, chat rooms, and interactive games”. Although the benefits of the internet are limited to the pedophiles who can afford computers, it is fair to say that those who want to do any of the afore-mentioned things can find an easy way of accessing it through public computers. An example for one of these public websites is “alt.support.boy-lovers.” Although it is a support group for pedophiles and may not seem sinister, there is still the disturbing fact that there are large amounts of pictures distributed of small boys on the website. Most of this information is open to anyone. These public websites can be found in any web browser, giving the pedophile all the chances in the world to seek or publish information concerning children, both photographs and locations. This makes child pornography easily accesable.
As for the targets, pedophiles can quite literally take their pick of the world’s children thanks to the World Wide Web. A great many of the world’s population have participated in the internet in one way or another, whether it is a Facebook or Myspace profile, a business website or a Littlest Pet Shop account. Children are on the internet and know how to use it. The problem is, so are sexual predators. Instead of the “isolated ‘dirty old man’ in a raincoat preying on unsuspecting children at the local theaters”, we now have literally anyone accessing information on nearly everyone.
The internet may be useful in helping people connect with each other, but it also assists those with less honourable intentions. There are many pedophiles that are fighting for the same rights as homosexuals through the internet, calling themselves “boy-lovers”, fighting against the ugly name that they been dubbed as “child molesters.” Through their support groups on-line, Pedophiles are acquiring a voice, becoming stronger bolder, and working towards acceptance. This repugnant act is still a far cry from society’s approval, but with the sudden appearance of the internet, pedophiles are coming together. Somehow, the discovery that they are not alone gives them courage to make their sexual preferences public, and it will not be long before even more steps are taken.
1) Durkin, Keith F., and Clifton D. Bryant. 1999. “Propagandizing pederasty: A thematic analysis of the on-line exculpatory accounts of unrepentant pedophiles” Deviant behaviour 20, no. 2 (April 1999): 114-115. PsycINFO, EBSCOhost (accessed March 20, 2012).
2) Feelgood, Steven, and Jurgen Hoyer. “Child Molester or Paedophilia? Sociological verses Psychopathological classification of sexual offenders against children.” Journal of sexual Aggression 14, no. 1 (march 2008): 34 Academic Search Premier EBSCOhost (Accessed march 19, 2012).
3) Hail, Ryan C. W., and Richard C. W. Hall. “A profile of pedophilia: Definition, characteristics of offenders, Recidivism, treatment outcomes and Forensic Issues.” Mayo Clinic Proceedings 82, no. 4: 457. Academic Search Premiere, EBSCOhost(accessed march 20, 2012).
4) Tomak, Sheri, Frederick S. Weschler, Marjan-Ghramanlou-Holloway, Thomas Virden, and Marshaw Elica Nademin. 2009.” An empirical study of the personality characteristics of internet sex offenders.” Journal of sexual Agreesion 15, no 2:139. Academic search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed march 20, 2012).