Fast Facts About online sex offending
Fact 1: Internet-related sexual offending includes different crimes.
Online sex offending includes viewing, trading, posting, or producing child pornography; making contact with a child, adolescent, or other vulnerable person for sexual exploitation; and arranging face-to-face meetings to commit sexual offenses. Arranging face-to-face meetings is called “luring” or “traveler offending.”
Fact 2: Online sexual offending against youth is widespread.
One out of every five youth has reported receiving unwanted sexual solicitations while online, and one out of every 25 youth has reported receiving an unwanted sexual solicitation that included an attempt to make contact in person.
Fact 3: Both boys and girls are targeted for online sexual harassment.
Approximately 70% of all youth who have experienced unwanted online sexual solicitations are girls; 30% are boys. The targets of online sexual harassment tend to be older children and young teens between the ages of 11 and 15.
Fact 4: Most victims of luring are girls ages 13 and 14.
In most cases, teenagers who were the victims of luring reported that they were aware the perpetrator was an adult interested in a sexual relationship, they willingly met with the perpetrator, and they described the interactions in romantic terms.
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The following citations reflect research, publications, and presentations by current ATSA members.
- Internet sexual solicitation of children: A proposed typology of offenders based on their chats, emails, and social network posts: DeHart, Dwyer, Seto, Moran, Letourneau, & Schwarz-Watts (2017)
- Research on online sexual offending: What have we learned and where are we going?: Seto (2017)
- Internet-facilitated sexual offending: Seto (2015)
- Sexual and other Axis I diagnoses of 60 males arrested for crimes against children involving the internet: Krueger, Kaplan, & First (2014)
- The impact of internet pornography use and cybersexual behavior on child custody visitation: Krueger, Weiss, Kaplan, Braunstein, & Wiener (2013)
- Mobile phone technology and sexual abuse: McCartan & McAlister (2012)
- Online solicitation offenders are different from child pornography offenders and lower risk contact sexual offenders: Seto, Wood, Babchishin, & Flynn (2012)
- Contact sexual offending by men with online sexual offenses: Seto, Hanson, & Babchishin (2011)
Additional resources will be listed soon.