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Their profiles were similar, that of men who held upper-income jobs, and otherwise law-abiding citizens, arrested for traveling to meet undercover agent posing as a minor on the Internet.Chat rooms exist in cyberspace with names such as “Daddy4daughter,” “Men for Barely Legal Girls,” and “Family Fun.” While these are branded as “fantasy only” chat rooms and require participants to be over the age of eighteen, it is difficult to decipher what is fact and what is fantasy, based upon the chat dialogues in such pedophilic virtual communities (Trebilcock 1997).They posited that cybersex allows a person to operationalize sexual fantasies that would otherwise have self-extinguished if it were not for the reinforcement of immediate feedback provided by online interactions.As the Internet gained in popularity, researchers began to identify similar patterns in the addictive aspects of online communication.
They distinguished various motivations for erotic computer communication, from mild flirtations to seeking and sharing information about sexual services to frank discussions of specific deviant sexual behavior.
More importantly, this paper differentiates patterns of online behavior of virtual sex offenders that suggest they are fantasy users who dabble in pedophilic themes compared to classic sex offenders who seek out children for sexual gratification.
The results will assist law enforcement agencies and Cyber-Crime units in the development of more accurate indicators for pedophile profiling online and facilitate a greater understanding among the psychiatric community of Internet-enabled pathology and its role in criminal conduct.
Internet addiction, as if is often called, is a pathological preoccupation with Internet use (Young 1998).
Studies estimate that nearly six percent of online users suffer from Internet addiction (Greenfield 1999) and can lead to significant occupational, social, familial, and psychological problems (Morahan-Martin 1997; Scherer 1997; Young 1998).