Stumbling into sexual crime: the passive perpetrator in accounts by male internet sex offenders

Winder, B. ORCID: 0000-0002-9118-679X, Gough, B. and Seymour-Smith, S. ORCID: 0000-0002-1213-9160, 2015. Stumbling into sexual crime: the passive perpetrator in accounts by male internet sex offenders. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 44 (1), pp. 167-180. ISSN 0004-0002


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Public reactions to internet child offending remains ambivalent in that, whilst there is vocal condemnation of contact child sex offending, there is less indignation about internet child abuse; this is potentially due to a lack of recognition of this type of offence as sexual offending per se. This ambiguity is reflected by internet sex offenders themselves in their verbalisations of their offending, and this paper presents a qualitative analysis of the accounts offered by individuals convicted of internet-based sexual offences involving the downloading and viewing of images of children (N=7). In particular, this paper presents an analysis of the explanations of offenders for the commencement of internet activity and the progression to more illicit online materials. The data was collected through semi-structured interviews, and analysed using discursive methods, paying close attention to language use and function. The analysis documents the practices that internet child abusers employ in order to manage their identities, distance themselves from the label of sex offender, and/or reduce their personal agency and accountability. Implications of this analysis are discussed with reference to the current minimisation of the downloading of sexually explicit images of children as a sexual crime per se by the public and offenders alike, and the risk assessment and treatment of individuals convicted of these offences.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Archives of Sexual Behavior
Creators: Winder, B., Gough, B. and Seymour-Smith, S.
Publisher: Springer
Place of Publication: New York, NY, United States
Date: 2015
Volume: 44
Number: 1
ISSN: 0004-0002
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: EPrints Services
Date Added: 28 Oct 2015 10:33
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2021 10:39

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