Exploring the Online Communicative Themes of Child Sex Offenders

Mcmanus, Michelle Ann orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-0095-1071, Almond, Louise, Cubbon, Ben, Boulton, Laura orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-5623-8884 and Mears, Ian (2016) Exploring the Online Communicative Themes of Child Sex Offenders. Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling, 13 (2). pp. 166-179. ISSN 1544-4759

[thumbnail of Author Accepted Manuscript]
PDF (Author Accepted Manuscript) - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.


Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1002/jip.1450


This exploratory study aimed to examine online communications between contact reality and non-contact fantasy child sex offenders (CSO). This research wanted to ascertain whether it was possible to differentiate between these offenders based on the content of their online communications, something which has not previously been examined. The sample consisted of 5 contact reality and 7 non-contact fantasy offenders, all convicted of a Child Sex Offence. Content analysis revealed 26 themes. Results showed that non-contact fantasy offenders discussed Adult sexual relationships significantly more than contact reality offenders. All other comparisons were non-significant. The themes were grouped into 5 higher order themes. The average largest proportion of the online communication related to Child sexual interest (34%) followed by Rapport (28%). There were no significant differences between the two types of offenders in relation to these 5 higher order themes. Explanations for the findings are discussed with implications for police investigations.

Repository Staff Only: item control page