Pedophiles Online

The development of the Internet and computer-mediated communications has
fostered the growth of a wide range of deviant sexual behaviors along with deviant
subcultures that support and approve of these behaviors. Some of these practices
pose little risk to public safety, though acts such as pedophilia and the creation and
distribution of child pornography have significant negative ramifications for victims. A
growing literature has examined the function of the Internet for child pornography
distribution, social networks of pedophiles, and tactics of child solicitation. Few, however,
have explored the utility of the Internet to develop a subculture of pedophiles and its
role in fostering attitudes and justifications for relationships with children. This study
will explore the subcultural norms and enculturation of the pedophile community
using a qualitative analysis of five Web forums run by and for pedophiles. The findings
suggest that the values of the pedophile culture support and encourage emotional
and, in some cases, sexual relationships with boys and girls in virtual and real settings.
Implications for the study of pedophiles and the role of the Internet are explored.

Pedophiles Online


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