The Role of Individual Differences in Predicting the Type of Images Collected by Internet Child Pornography Consumers


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Kathryn C. Seigfried-Spellar

Tech report number

CERIAS TR 2011-06

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The current study was the first to analyze the relationship among psychological characteristics, personality, and the types of images preferred or collected by self- reported consumers of Internet child pornography. This study had 4 specific aims: (1) to explore the personality differences between self-reported consumers and non-consumers of Internet child pornography, (2) to examine whether the self-reported male and female consumers of Internet child pornography exhibit different personality characteristics and traits from the non-consumers, (3) to assess the types of images preferred by the self- reported consumers of Internet child pornography, and (4) to determine whether or not there was a predictive relationship between the personality characteristics and the types of images preferred by the self-reported child pornography consumers. This study was conducted electronically using an Internet-based survey, which targeted respondents from the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada. By targeting current permanent residents from these countries, the study ensured the respondents were from countries where the possession, distribution, and production of Internet child pornography was illegal. Results suggested the self-reported child pornography users in xi this sample were more trusting (less suspicious) and compliant (less oppositional) whereas the respondents who did not self-report child pornography use were more suspicious (less trusting) and oppositional (less compliant). Second, the male consumers of child pornography were less likely to make moral decisions based on social values (e.g., societal norms, laws) compared to the female consumers of Internet-child pornography. Third, those individuals who engaged in more Internet child pornography behaviors were more social, unconventional, and followed a different moral compass (i.e., do not make decisions based on moral beliefs). Finally, with regard to image content, the results suggested the self-reported child pornography users in this sample might prefer different types of child pornography. Overall, Internet-based research designs assessing the relationship between psychology constructs and Internet child pornography use was possible, but this type of research was not without limitations.




2011 – 7 – 14

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Computer Forensics


Purdue University

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