skip navigation


Abstract Database

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

To download this abstract, check the box next to the NCJ number then click the "Back To Search Results" link. Then, click the "Download" button on the Search Results page. Also see the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 199580 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Cyber Pedophiles: A Behavioral Perspective
Journal: APSAC Advisor  Volume:11  Issue:4  Dated:Winter 1998  Pages:12-18
Author(s): Kenneth A. Lanning
Date Published: 1998
Page Count: 7
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines the dynamics of offender and victim behavior in the computer exploitation of children offering law enforcement proactive investigative techniques.
Abstract: Throughout history, individuals who sexually victimize children have frequented the places where children gather. In addition, offenders have used technological capabilities, such as automobiles and cameras, to assist their sexual interests and behavior. However, today the technological advancement of the computer, specifically the Internet, has offered offenders a new point of contact with children. To investigate child sexual exploitation cases involving computers requires knowledge of the technical, legal, and behavioral aspects of computer use. This article focuses on the behavioral aspects of both the offender and the victim. Offenders using computers to sexually exploit children usually fall into two categories: the situational offender or dabbler and the preferential offender. The preferential sex offenders, also known as the pedophile, are the primary sexual exploiters of children. This offender has a wide variety of deviant sexual interests with a definite preference for children. Investigations must recognize and utilize the highly predictable sexual behavior patterns of preferential sex offenders. Identified behaviors for preferential sex offenders are divided into four categories: (1) long-term and persistent pattern of behavior; (2) specific sexual interests; (3) well-developed techniques; and (4) fantasy-driven behavior. Knowing the kind of offender with whom one is dealing can go a long way in determining investigative strategy. Once there is an understanding of the offender, there becomes a better understanding of the appeal of a computer. Offenders use computers to organize their collections, correspondence, and fantasy material. Many offenders are drawn to the Internet and other online activity as a way to communicate and validate their interests and behavior. In addition, offenders have the capability through online services to transfer, manipulate, and even create child pornography. With the capabilities of the computer, offenders can use the computer to troll for and communicate with potential victims with minimal risk of being identified. A child can be indirectly victimized through conversation and the transfer of sexually explicit information and material and can be evaluated for possible face-to-face contact and direct victimization. Investigators must be alert to the fact that any offender with the intelligence, economic means, or employment access could be using a computer, but preferential sex offenders are highly likely to do so.
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Child Pornography; Child Sexual Abuse; Child victims; Computer abuse; Computer related crime; Criminal investigation; Sex offender profiles; Sex offenders; Sex offense investigations; Sexual addiction; Sexually abused adolescents
Note: Special Issue on Children and the Internet.
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.