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Internet Pedophiles Treating Perpetrators & Victims
Internet Pedophiles continuing education MFT CEUs

Section 6
Risk Assessment from Pedophilic Child Molesters

CEU Question 6 | CEU Test | Table of Contents | Internet
Social Worker CEUs, Counselor CEUs, Psychologist CEs, MFT CEUs

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On the last track, we broke down the personality types of pedophiles in order to better educate the parents of victims and the victims themselves.  These personality types include:  the powerless personality; the antisocial personality; the sexually impotent personality; and the impulsive personality.

On this track, we will examine challenges related to the unique world of internet pedophilia and educating the victimized family with these concepts.  These concepts include:  accessibility; anonymity; and lack of consequences.

Reba and John, parents of Troy age 14, were shocked to find out that Troy had been molested.  They were even more surprised that all this had taken place through email exchanges and finally a face-to-face meeting.  Reba stated, "It all happened in our own home!  I couldn’t believe it.  This man, this pervert!  He lured our son right under our noses!  How could this have happened?"  To help Reba and John with their confusion, I educated them on the unique role the internet plays in the stalking and seduction of children and teens.

3 Challenges of the World of the Internet

#1 Accessibility
The first challenge is accessibility.  I explain to parents such as Reba and John the lure of accessibility.  I tell them that many  pedophiles feel daunted by the effort it takes to approach a child that is unsupervised in the real world.  This does not happen very often and this type of pedophile is not as successful in his search.  However, the pedophile on the internet has at his disposal, literally millions of unsupervised and unsuspecting teens and pre-teens who trust the word of every "friend" they make on a message board. 

Obviously, this makes it a hundred times easier to access children vulnerable to being misled.  Not only are the victims accessible to the pedophile, but the internet itself is a readily accessible commodity to the victims.  Even if their house does not have internet or a computer, there are libraries and schools who provide internet access. 

I stated to Reba and John, "The environment in which we live today is one of constant and complete access to everything.  This type of mindset makes the internet such a lure because it has become such an easily acquired service.  Thus, we have seen an increase in child pornography on the internet and also children and teens being approached by pedophiles who send them sexually explicit pictures and emails."  Think of your Reba and John.  Do they understand the concept of internet accessibility?

#2 Anonymity
The second challenge is anonymity.  The idea of anonymity becomes another lucrative lure for pedophiles.  Not only does this prevent detection, it also makes them more prone to approach more children.  I asked Reba and John to think of the last time they had to perform a difficult task or ask someone to do something they knew they didn’t want to do.  I asked them if it would be easier to ask that person through an email or over the phone.  John stated, "That’s true.  I’d much rather talk to people through email because I have less of a chance of encountering resistance or a conflict." 

I stated, "Exactly.  Just like you and Reba, the internet pedophile has difficulty facing people, especially someone whose rights he may violate in the future.  The anonymity of the internet dehumanizes the victim to a mere name on the screen.  This dehumanization is not in the least daunted by photographs or emotional talks with the victim because the pedophile still has yet to make eye contact with him or her. Also, anonymity provides the opportunity for the pedophile to create an identity which is more relatable to the client.  For example, the pedophile may say that he or she is a 14 year old male to attract young, vulnerable, teenage girls." 

Is there anything else you can think of that would be useful in explaining the concept of anonymity to your client’s parents?

#3 Lack of Consequences
In addition to accessibility and anonymity, the third challenge is lack of consequences.  I explained to Reba and John that pedophiles feel that their behavior is less detectable if they go through the internet.  Unfortunately, this is somewhat true.  Until the internet pedophile acts on his impulses and tries to make contact with the victim, it is difficult to determine who is pedophilic and who is not. 

Many pedophiles will limit themselves to child pornography and if no family member, coworker, or loved one discovers and reports the incidences, these pedophiles will rarely seek treatment on their own.  When an internet pedophile, however, acts on his impulses, it becomes possible to identify and stop him provided the victims speak out in time.  Ultimately, the first two concepts, accessibility and anonymity, compound to produce the third.  Think of your Reba and John.  How would you explain the concept of lack of consequences to them?

On this track, we discussed concepts related to the unique world of internet pedophilia and educating the victimized family with these concepts.  These concepts included:  accessibility; anonymity; and lack of consequences.

Peer-Reviewed Journal Article References:
Eher, R., Olver, M. E., Heurix, I., Schilling, F., & Rettenberger, M. (2015). Predicting reoffense in pedophilic child molesters by clinical diagnoses and risk assessment. Law and Human Behavior, 39(6), 571–580. 

Shumaker, D., & Manning, C. (2021). Existential implications of internet gaming disorder (IGD). The Humanistic Psychologist.

Stephens, S., McPhail, I. V., Heasman, A., & Moss, S. (2021). Mandatory reporting and clinician decision-making when a client discloses sexual interest in children. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science / Revue canadienne des sciences du comportement, 53(3), 263–273.

Stussi, Y., Sennwald, V., Pool, E. R., Delplanque, S., Brosch, T., Bianchi-Demicheli, F., & Sander, D. (2021). Individual concerns modulate reward-related learning and behaviors involving sexual outcomes. Motivation Science.

Suchy, Y., Eastvold, A. D., Strassberg, D. S., & Franchow, E. I. (2014). Understanding processing speed weaknesses among pedophilic child molesters: Response style vs. Neuropathology. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 123(1), 273–285. 

Wolak, J., Finkelhor, D., Mitchell, K. J., & Ybarra, M. L. (2008). Online "predators" and their victims: Myths, realities, and implications for prevention and treatment. American Psychologist, 63(2), 111–128. 

Online Continuing Education QUESTION 6
What are three concepts related to the unique world of internet pedophilia that can be used to educate victimized families? To select and enter your answer go to CEU Test.

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