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The offenders in Seto, Reeves, and Jung (2010) gave other explanations for their child pornography offending, including indiscriminate sexual interests, an "addiction" to pornography, and curiosity (see also Merdian et al., 2013).
It is a reasonable assumption that individuals will seek out pornography content that reflects their sexual interests (Seto, Maric, & Barbaree, 2001).
Thus, pedophilic individuals will tend to seek out content depicting young children, while nonpedophilic individuals who are involved with child pornography will tend to seek out content depicting underage adolescents.
The mechanisms by which child pornography consumers can come to commit contact sexual offenses will be presented.
Avenues for intervention with internet sex offenders will be offered.
This has been demonstrated in a recent study showing that the majority of Canadian child pornography offenders assessed at a sexual behavior clinic showed more sexual arousal (assessed through penile plethysmography responses in the laboratory) to children than to adults, and in fact show a stronger relative response than do offenders with contact victims (Seto, Cantor, & Blanchard, 2006).
As well, one-third to one-half of child pornography offenders interviewed by police or by clinicians admitted they were sexually interested in children or in child pornography content (e.g., Seto, Reeves, & Jung, 2010).
Other studies have also demonstrated a link between sexual interest in children and child pornography use through self-report surveys (e.g., Buschman et al., 2010; Riegel, 2004).
These results are consistent with what we know about the modal child pornography image seized by police, which depicts young girls who appear to be younger than age 12 and often depicts children in sexually explicit conduct (Collins, 2012; Quayle & Jones, 2011).
The scientific and practical challenge is determining how investigators can distinguish, with relatively limited initial evidence, which cases are more likely to involve production, solicitation of minors, and/or contact offending.
Many, but not all, Internet offenders are motivated by a sexual interest in children.
For example, two programs (Fairplay and Roundup) have identified millions of computers involved in peer-to-peer sharing of child pornography files in the United States (U. Although more resources are being devoted to peer-to-peer investigations, many police investigators continue to conduct proactive, undercover investigationsin which they pretend to be a minor onlinein anticipation of solicitation attempts by adults (Mitchell, Wolak, & Finkelhor, 2005; Briggs, Simon, & Simonsen, 2011).