Online Forums Allow Pedophiles to Redeem Their Sins: A Qualitative Evaluation of Pedophilic Traits Among Internet Users
Medical University of Lublin, Lublin, Poland
Centre of Postgraduate Medical Education, Warsaw, Poland
Fulltext (english, pages 143-143).pdf
Objective: In the era of widely accessible internet, individuals with pedophilic traits discover digital modes of engaging in sexual fantasizing about children. This study evaluates activities of pedophilic communities on the internet.
Design and Method: Responses of self-identified pedofiles on internet forums were qualitatively evaluated. Relevant forums, specializing in mental health, were identified through having threads on “sexuality”, “paraphilias”, and “pedophilia”. Chat spaces with minimum 200 replies were included in data sets. Responses of registered users were tracked and evaluated to see whether these individuals consistently engaged in discussions relevant to pedophilic context. To confirm selfreported pedophilic traits of participants, descriptions were cross-referenced with DSM-5 criteria for pedophilia.
Results: Common points of discussion between self-identified pedophiles included: ineffectiveness of psychotherapeutic treatment, crowdsourcing information about what makes it illegal to possess child pornography, chats about what amount of clothing makes a child less sexually appealing, and fears of relapsing due to access to online child pornography.
Conclusions: Streamlined access to internet allows sharing of various materials - including pornography - and correlates with rise in paraphilic perversion online. Pedophiles are building small online communities, where they share fantasies and experiences with each other. This study offers unique glimpse into a typical conversation between self-identified pedophiles and highlights the need to restructure rehabilitation approach for pedophiles. In particular, therapy sessions should implement monitoring of online browsing activities of pedophiles undergoing treatment as part of conduct management.