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Average sentences are getting longer for comparable child pornography offenses, indicating that Internet offenders will occupy custodial beds longer and will require longer terms of supervision if they become eligible for probation/parole (Wolak, Finkelhor, & Mitchell, 2009).Given the nature of the Internet, this type of sexual offending is clearly an international problem, with political, legal, and geographic complexities.Briggs, Simon, and Simonsen (2011) have suggested that there is a distinction between fantasy-driven and contact-driven solicitation offenders.The former group engages in online activities (such as sexual chat, exchange of pornographic images, or exhibitionism via Webcam) that are gratifying in and of themselves, often resulting in orgasm while online.
Briggs, Simon, and Simonsen (2011) suggest that this fantasy-driven group is not interested in or likely to commit contact sexual offenses against children.
Many child pornography sites are based outside the United States (e.g., Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia), where laws differ substantially.
The International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (2010) reviewed laws in 196 countries and found that almost half (89 countries) did not have specific child pornography laws.
here is increasing public and professional concern about Internet-facilitated sexual offending, reflected in a greater number of prosecutions and clinical referrals for these crimes (Middleton, Mandeville-Norden, & Hayes, 2009; Motivans & Kyckelhahn, 2007; U. The large majority of online offenses involve possession or distribution of child pornography.
Internet sexual offending comprises a range of crimes, including possession or distribution of child pornography; production of child pornography; sexual solicitations (online interactions with minors for sexual purposes, including plans to meet offline); and conspiracy crimes (e.g., collaborating with others to distribute or produce child pornography or to solicit minors).
The increase in Internet sexual offending has been paralleled by a decrease in the number of reported child sexual abuse cases, and a decrease in violent crime more broadly (Mishra & Lalumière, 2009; Finkelhor & Jones, 2006).