propagandizing pederasty: a thematic analysis of the on-line exculpatory accounts of unrepentant pedophiles
Although pedophilia has been the topic of an extensive research effort, the preponderance of this research has used subjects from clinical or correctional populations. This constitutes a major empirical concern as most of the academic knowledge on this topic is based on data gathered from either incarcerated offenders or probationers in treatment. However, such offenders constitute an unrepresentative sample of the larger population of pedophiles. Accordingly,there is a large number of pedophiles for whom little information is available. Computer networks offer a unique opportunity for the study of those pedophiles who are not in a correctional or clinical population. The data for this study were gathered from a Usenet discussion group composed of pedophiles, alt.support.boy-lovers. The sample includes 41 admitted pedophiles who participate in this particular computer forum.The centralresearch question addressed was ''How do pedophiles who use the Internet account for their deviance?'' Scott and Lyman's (1968) classic formulation of accounts served as the theoretical framework for this study. The results of this research indicate that more than half of these pedophiles offered accounts for their deviant orientation and behavior. Moreover, all of these accounts took the form of justifications, and none took the form of excuses.
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