Nonsexual webcam sites
Other studies have also demonstrated a link between sexual interest in children and child pornography use through self-report surveys (e.g., Buschman et al., 2010; Riegel, 2004).
These results are consistent with what we know about the modal child pornography image seized by police, which depicts young girls who appear to be younger than age 12 and often depicts children in sexually explicit conduct (Collins, 2012; Quayle & Jones, 2011).
The relationship between child pornography offending and pedophilia is sufficiently robust that child pornography use has been included as specific behavioral evidence in the proposed revision of the psychiatric diagnostic criteria for pedophilia, defined clinically as "persistent sexual attraction to prepubescent children" (American Psychiatric Association, 2013; Seto, 2010).
However, pedophilia is not the sole motivation for Internet offending involving children; that is, not all child pornography offenders show a sexual preference for children over adults.
Many child pornography sites are based outside the United States (e.g., Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia), where laws differ substantially.
As well, one-third to one-half of child pornography offenders interviewed by police or by clinicians admitted they were sexually interested in children or in child pornography content (e.g., Seto, Reeves, & Jung, 2010).
The scientific and practical challenge is determining how investigators can distinguish, with relatively limited initial evidence, which cases are more likely to involve production, solicitation of minors, and/or contact offending.