Technical profiles of child sexual exploitation material offenders

Chad M. S. Steel*, Emily Newman, Suzanne O'Rourke, Ethel Quayle

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The idiographic technical profiles of child sexual exploitation material (CSEM) offenders provide insight into their behaviours and context for their interactions with technology, but minimal quantitative work has been done to evaluate their sociability, technical ability, and technophilia compared to non-offenders. This work used an online survey to compare an offender group consisting of English-speaking adults previously convicted of CSEM offenses (n=78) to a reference population of non-offenders (n=254). The survey assessed sociability, technical ability and technophilia through self-rating and information on occupation, level of education, and device ownership. The study found that CSEM offenders had slightly lower sociability than non-offenders, though not at a level of clinical interest. Additionally, CSEM offenders had no statistically significant difference in technical ability and lower overall technophilia when compared to non-offenders. This study fails to support popular perceptions of CSEM offenders being technically savvy loners who are early adopters of new technologies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalPsychiatry, Psychology and Law
Early online date13 Feb 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Feb 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • child pornography
  • child sexual exploitation material
  • technical profiles
  • sociability
  • technophilia


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