Psychological Profiles of Internet Sexual Offenders Comparisons With Contact Sexual Offenders

Ian Elliott, Anthony Beech, R Mandeville-Norden, E Hayes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

101 Citations (Scopus)


A sample of 505 Internet sex offenders and 526 contact sex offenders were compared on a range of psychological measures relating to offense-supportive beliefs, empathic concern, interpersonal functioning, and emotional management. Internet offenders could be successfully discriminated from contact offenders on 7 out of 15 measures. Contact offenders were found to have significantly more victim empathy distortions and cognitive distortions than Internet offenders. Internet offenders were found to have significantly higher identification with fictional characters than contact offenders. Further analysis indicated that an increase in scores on scales of fantasy, underassertiveness, and motor impulsivity were predictive of an Internet offense type. An increase in scores of scales of locus of control, perspective taking, empathic concern, overassertiveness, victim empathy distortions, cognitive distortions, and cognitive impulsivity were found to be predictive of a contact offense type. These findings are discussed in the context of the etiology of sexual offending.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-92
Number of pages17
JournalSexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2009


  • child pornography
  • etiology
  • etiological pathways
  • psychological profiles
  • Internet


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