Online Grooming: An Exploration into the Genetic-Social Variables which Enable Victimisation

Speed, Faye Christabel (2018) Online Grooming: An Exploration into the Genetic-Social Variables which Enable Victimisation. Masters thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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It is apparent that crime within contemporary society has become centred on digital development and the innovation of criminal practices. Through this, cyber grooming has perhaps become the forefront of online child victimisation, where predators frequently seek out vulnerable children via social networking sites to encourage them to engage in a level of sexual gratification.

Therefore, due to the increasing maturity of online grooming, this research focuses on how the victimisation of a child is enabled through a Genetic-Social (Owen 2012) approach. This attempts to examine the literature from a multifactorial standpoint that considers the formation of crime through several contributing factors: the biological aspect, the psychological element, the social influence, and the environmental circumstance. Consequently, the following literature review will assess multiple pieces of research that have been produced in relation to online paedophilia. This assessment has been subdivided into two intertwining levels that may contribute to the establishment of online grooming: the variables that enable child victimisation and the overall limitations of existing research and the underpinning of Owen’s (2012) Genetic-Social framework.

Arguably, such a study is important to identify how a child can so easily become, at times willingly, victimised. Following this data, it is important to discuss how possible prevention strategies and policies could be proposed. The findings from this research provided evidence that there is currently only analysis of the crime and very little development in the proposal for deterrence or preventative means. The results, therefore, attempt to define the key issues that are contributing to the victimisation of children, in addition to recommending changes to policy. I then suggest the formulation of an online app that could enable children to become more resilient to the strategies of victimisation.

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