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Identifying Sexual Grooming Themes Used by Internet Sex Offenders

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In the context of the sexual abuse of children, “grooming” is a process by which an individual prepares the child and their environment for abuse to take place, including gaining access to the child, creating compliance and trust, and ensuring secrecy to avoid disclosure (Craven et al. 2007). Grooming can be difficult to identify and define, especially Internet sexual grooming, as it incorporates a variety of behaviors and processes and can differ greatly in duration. This study looks to establish possible strategies that Internet sex offenders use within the grooming process, within the initial hour of contact with a child on-line. Eight transcripts were qualitatively analyzed using thematic analysis. The transcripts that were analyzed featured a “decoy” adult posing as a child, and an adult male who was later convicted following those discussions. Three main themes were identified in the transcripts: Rapport-building, Sexual Content, and Assessment. Implications for practice are discussed in the article.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Birmingham, Birmingham,West Midlands, UK 2: The Pennsylvania State University, University Park,Pennsylvania, USA

Publication date: February 1, 2013

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