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Sex Offenders and the Internet

ISBN: 978-0-470-06004-9
312 pages
August 2007
Sex Offenders and the Internet (0470060042) cover image


"On the Internet, the opportunity to commit crime is never more than three or four clicks away." - Demetrion and Silke, from the Introduction to this volume

In this pioneering text the nature of Internet sex offenders is explored in order to help practitioners to understand and treat this new category of sexual offende.

Kerry Sheldon and Dennis Howitt examine the research base on Internet sexual offenders by reviewing case studies and psychological profiles, with a particular focus on paedophilic sex offenders. The result is a book that comprehensively details the nature of Internet sex offenders, bringing together the relevant research into one essential volume.

Sex Offenders and the Internet covers key issues and concerns, including:

  • Issues of child pornography - social, historical, legal and psychological.
  • The development of paedophilia and the often unheard 'excuses' - abuse, attachment difficulties, fantasy and delusion.
  • Helping practitioners to move forwards - what to do?
This text is essential reading for forensic psychologists, probation officers, police officers, MSc level students in forensic psychology as well as criminologists.
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Table of Contents

About the Authors.


1 Sex Offending on the Internet.

2 The Issue of Child Pornography.

3 What we Know about Paedophilia.

4 Creating and Controlling the Internet Sex Offender.

5 What Internet Sex Offenders Do.

6 The Childhood Histories of Paedophiles.

7 Sexual Abuse and Sexualisation in the Childhoods of Paedophiles.

8 Coping with Life through Abuse and Child Pornography.

9 Relationships in Childhood and Adulthood: Security and Attachment.

10 Sexual Fantasy and Paedophile Offenders.

11 Distorted Thinking.

12 Desisting from Child Abuse.

Epilogue: What has been Learnt and What shall we Do?


Author Index.

Subject Index.

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Author Information

Kerry Sheldon is Lecturer in Psychology and Criminology at the University of Gloucestershire. She trained in investigative psychology at the University of Liverpool before obtaining her PhD in psychology at the University of Sciences at Loughborough University. In between these, she worked for the probation service in sex offender treatment where she first encountered Internet sex offenders. She has substantial publications in the field of sex offending and the Internet.

Dennis Howitt is reader in Applied Psychology in the Department of Social Sciences at Loughborough University. he is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and a chartered psychologist. His books in the field of crime and sex abuse include paedophiles and Sexual Offences Against Children (Wiley, 1995), Crime, The Media and the Law (Wiley, 1998) and Child Abuse Errors (Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1992). He is author of Introduction to Forensic and Criminal Psychology (2nd edition, Pearson Education, 2006). He has published books in the field of race with Kwame Owusu-Bempah including Psychology Beyond Western Perspectives (British Psychological Society, 2000) and The Racism of Psychology (Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1994). Amongst his well-known methods textbooks with Duncan Cramer are Introduction to Statistics in Psychology (4th edition, Pearson Education 2008). Introduction to SPSS in Psychology (4th Edition, Pearson Education 2008) and Introduction to Research Methods in Psychology (2nd edition, Pearson Education 2008).

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"A highly commendable text." (The Howard Journal, December 2009)

"This book is a very welcome addition … .An interesting and thought-provoking read and of value to all practitioners working with this population. It also sets the agenda for future research." (Applied Cognitive Psychology, December 2008)

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