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Midterm Assignment: Similarities and Differences Between Online Sexual Predators and In-person Sexual Abusers

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Midterm Assignment

This written assignment consists of two essay questions. Students are expected to develop a 2-3 page essay per question (excluding title and reference page). A minimum of 2 peer-reviewed, scholarly sources per question are to be utilized for the assignment. Sources should also be up-to-date (less than 10 years old). Direct quotes are not permitted.

Topic 1: Explain the differences between obscenity and pornography. State the case both for and against the belief that viewing pornography contributes to the commission of sex crimes. Does this apply to child pornography as well?

Topic 2:  Internet sexual predators continue to elude law enforcement in great numbers. What are the similarities and differences between the online sexual predators and in person sexual abusers?

Citations/References: You must use the most up to date edition of APA format for citations and reference listings.

You may submit each answer separately or in one word document: All work is to be submitted as an attachment to the assignment link by 11:59 pm EST Sunday of week 4.


Similarities and Differences Between Online Sexual Predators and In-person Sexual Abusers



Institution name:

            Technological advancement and the increase in the use of the internet have created new sexual exploitation avenues. The unregulated nature of the online environment, especially social media platforms, increases the internet's vulnerability as a channel for distributing and collecting child pornography and luring potential victims into the set traps. The number of online sexual predators has increased in the past two decades as the internet continues to gain momentum in society. Recent studies, media reports, and prevention efforts have directed their guns to the vulnerability of young people to the threat of sex crimes. Traditional in-person sexual abuse exhibits various similarities and differences with modern online sexual predators.

            Online and in-person sexual abuse are sex crimes that subject the victim to sexual violence whose traumatizing effects can last long. The nature of crimes committed confirms with statutory sexual abuse laws. Study findings revealed that approximately 50% of online sexual offenders had a history of committing sexual offenses in their offline lives (Wolak, Finkelhor, 2013). In both cases, the sexual offenders' actions amount to an abuse of the victims as the abusers in each instance take advantage of the victim's sexual vulnerability. Separate studies also revealed that online and offline sexual offenders reported negative family backgrounds such as lack of appropriate nurture and a suitable environment provided the conditions for developing problematic behaviors such as sexual misconduct (Babchishin, Karl, & Hermann, 2011).  Offenders resort to sexual abuse as one of the ways of projecting the frustrations and problems they have been subjected to in life.


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