Merdian, H.L., Wilson, N., Thakker, J., Curtis, C. & Boer, D. P. (2013). "So why did you do it?": Explanations provided by Child Pornography Offenders. Sexual Offender Treatment, 8(1), 1-19.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/7976
Aim/ Background: There has been some professional discussion surrounding the "function" of child pornography offending for the individual offender: Why is someone looking at child pornography and what needs are met with this behaviour? The limited research in this area has mainly focused on information extracted from interview transcripts, which is likely biased by the offender's situation at the time. Material/Method: Using a computerised online survey, child pornography offenders (with and without contact sex offences against minors) were questioned anonymously about their motivations to start viewing child pornography material. Results: Thematic Analysis lead to the development of a topical map that revealed four main themes in their offence motivations: (1) no (direct) explanation provided, (2) initial triggers of their child pornography consumption, (3) emotional reasons, and (4) sexual reasons. These themes were analysed with regards to their subthemes, their relationship with each other and to the offending behaviour. Offender characteristics differed between the thematic groups. In addition, "pure" child pornography offenders were more likely than offenders with contact victims to provide more than one explanation for their behaviour. Individuals with contact offences were found more likely to admit a sexual interest in children. Conclusions: These findings point to the value of a motivation-based offender typology. For treatment providers, the assessment of offence motivations appears as a promising source about an individual's risks and needs.
This article has been published in the journal: Sexual Offender Treatment. Used with permission.