Child Sexual Exploitation Material Users, One Size Fits All For? Exploring Tailored Clinical Dimensions based on Cognitive and Behavioural Criminogenic Factors
Paquette, Sarah, Julien Chopin, and Francis Fortin.
Interventions for individuals involved in online child sexual exploitation should be tailored to their specific characteristics, as different factors such as antisocial tendencies, cognitive distortions, and dysfunctional intimacy are associated with this behavior, suggesting the need for more focused interventions.
A research group at the International Centre for Comparative Criminology led by Sarah Paquette (2022) reported in ‘Child sexual exploitation material offenders, one‐size‐fits‐all for?’ that this study explores the cognitive and behavioral factors associated with the use of online child sexual exploitation material (CSEM) and their relevance to intervention. The study identifies five distinct factors that account for 60% of the variance: dissocial traits, dysfunctional intimacy, passive alienation, normless alienation, and coping with threat. The findings suggest that a "one-size-fits-all" intervention is unlikely to be optimal for online CSEM-related offenders, and more focused interventions are needed. Future research should evaluate the effectiveness of tailored interventions compared to general interventions.
There were 98 men involved in the research.
Some of the findings seem to consolidate previous studies in this area: “The text suggests that both the interest in children and difficulties with adult intimacy should be addressed, as previous research has shown a connection between paedophilia and intimacy problems among CSEM offenders,” Paquette posited.
Discussing potential shortcomings, “This study has limitations including the reliance on variables from previous studies, the use of dichotomous variables, the inability to determine the timing of cognitions, and the lack of direct assessment of offenders' cognitions. Further research is needed to fully understand the role of cognitions in the use of CSEM,” they concede.
They argue that the study acknowledges limitations in determining whether cognitions existed before or after the offenses. Further research is needed to understand the role of cognitions in the use of CSEM. The study was unable to directly assess offenders' cognitions using reliable measures. Additional research with different methods is necessary to fully understand offenders' offense-supportive cognitions.
The authors have provided data and code at: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3276-5641, https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4459-2530, https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7110-4275.
Paquette, S., Chopin, J., & Fortin, F. (2022). Child sexual exploitation material offenders, one‐size‐fits‐all for? Exploring tailored clinical dimensions based on cognitive and behavioural criminogenic factors. Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health, 32(2), 100-113.