The internet:a discussion of some new and emerging threats to young people

Bocij, Paul and McFarlane, Leroy (2003). The internet:a discussion of some new and emerging threats to young people. Prison Service Journal, 76 (1), pp. 3-13.

Abstract

The Internet poses a number of threats to the safety of young people. Using numerous examples, this article discusses a wide range of such threats, including: cyberstalking; the 'grooming' of potential victims of sexual abuse; a new 'wish list' scene (where teenagers encourage contact with potential abusers); the creation and distribution of child pornography; and the emergence of services that create child pornography to order. It is suggested that the latter has provided individuals with the ability to inflict sexual abuse on young people from a distance, an act the authors have termed virtual sex tourism. The final section of the article suggests that paedophiles and pornographers have been quick to adopt new technology as a means of concealing their activities. The article concludes by warning of the danger of overestimating or underestimating the threats described.

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