'Virtual Constructs': The Role of Fantasy Media and Fictional Characterisation in Internet Sexual Offending
Research has widely documented that those males who have convictions for sexual offences involving children typically experience problems with Intimacy (Bumby & Hansen, 1997); Emotional Loneliness (Marshall, 1993); Low Self-Esteem (Marshall et al, 1997); Under-assertiveness (Marshall et al, 1995) and Empathy (Beckett & Fisher, 1994). These problems can lead to difficulties in developing & maintaining ‘appropriate’ relationships with others. Elliot et al (2009) noted significantly higher identification with fictional characters by internet offenders than contact offenders. Further analysis indicated that an increase in scores on scales of fantasy, under-assertiveness and motor impulsivity were predictive of an internet offence type. Emerging anecdotal evidence suggests that some Internet Sexual Offenders demonstrate a significant interest in fantasy media (Manga, Hentai, War-Gaming, Sci-Fi) both on and offline and the paper therefore aims to explore the role of fantasy media & fictional characterisations in Internet Sexual Offending. This paper is informed and underpinned by Kelly’s Personal Construct Theory (1955) providing both a conceptual and methodological framework for the ongoing research. It therefore ‘challenges disciplinary boundaries within the criminological discourse’ by contributing not only to the criminological literature on sexual offending, cybercrime, and the social construction of crime but also to discourses in psychology and media studies.
Citation : Sadique, K. (2012) 'Virtual Constructs': The Role of Fantasy Media and Fictional Characterisation in Internet Sexual Offending (4-6 July 2012) British Society of Criminology Conference, 'Criminology at the Borders', University of Portsmouth
Research Institute : Institute for Research in Criminology, Community, Education and Social Justice
Peer Reviewed : No