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Young, Kimberly S. (2005). Profiling Online Sex Offenders: A Preliminary Analysis of 22 Cases. The Journal of Behavioral Profiling, 5(1), 1-19.

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Based upon an analysis of 22 case studies that involve sex offenders whose deviancy arose from Internet use, Dr. Kimberly Young examines the role in which the Internet facilitates the evolution of virtual child sex offenders whom lack previous criminal histories. As a licensed psychologist, Young highlights the differences between the virtual sex offender and the classic pedophile, providing a useful framework on which to base future research in the area of profiling possible online offenders. The analysis of the 22 case studies showed that these first-time offenders used the internet in largely dissimilar ways than classic predators. She theorizes that the Internet is a capable vehicle of altering the mindset of certain vulnerable individuals through a sexual and emotional dependency on the erotic cove of cyberspace. Oftentimes, this dependency stems from a number of things including depression and sex addiction, not a true pedophilic tendency which often starts in a person’s adolescent years. Young calls for awareness of this common miscategorization and urges future research to address the role of the Internet in the development of the virtual sex offender.