About Online Sexual Predators

Various groups around the globe have branded the Internet as a source of evil in society. This fact is primarily due to the abundance and supply of pornography that is available on different online websites. Porn on the Internet has had a significant impact on changing people's sexual orientation. The exposure that society is receiving in a global context is responsible for the present explicit sexual behavior among humans. There is a lot of broadcasting of sexual material both through the Internet and other forms of mass media that masses view in their daily lives. This factor results in the influence in character of the individuals to see the pornographic content and subscribe to the ideas that they bring forward.

Through the Internet and massive broadcasting of sexual material, there has emerged new trends towards approaching the manner in which people conduct erotic interactions. For example, there has been the establishment of dating sites that connect people who are looking partners. They have been successful because people are not in a position to access love within their localities. It has become necessary to search through the Internet for one to get a lover (Wolak & Finkelhor, 2013). Also, there are destinations that people visit the web for plain sexual pleasures and satisfaction. Online sexual predators are currently on the rise, trying to exploit victims into sexual relationships through sextortion.

Online Sexual Predators

Sextortion is a criminal activity that entails online harassment where the perpetrator engages nonphysical forms of threats like blackmail in a bid to have sex with the victim. The criminals gain access to an individual’s personal information through cyber-crime such as hacking or even voluntary submission by the victims. Also, they are likely to apply social engineering where they trick the potential victims to offer access to private data and material (Wolak & Finkelhor, 2013). After obtaining the targeted information or material, for example, naked photos, the criminal threatens to publicize them if the former does not concede to the stated sexual demands. In the end, the victim is likely to give in to the perpetrator’s demands to avoid shame and ridicule in case such information or images are shared to the members of the public.

The online sexual predators are mainly immoral adult members of the society who thrive on exploiting minors sexually. It is an issue that in the recent past, has attracted a lot of media attention and is among current matters in the trending topics. Although this is happening, the sensational headlines do not assist the broader public in comprehending the nature and realistic extent of the problem and the manner in which to handle it to completion (Bogdanova, Rosso, & Solorio, 2012). It is the case because the Internet allows the perpetrators to maintain anonymity and through coercion, the minors may not be willing to share the predators’ identities. Also, the children may not be aware of the real identities of these criminals in question.

Vulnerability to Predation

Both the teens and preteens mainly use the social media where they interact with unknown people through chatting through text and video. It is unavoidable that at a young age when these individuals are experimenting their sexuality offline, they are likely to extend it to the online platform in such interactive environments. Looking at this problem of sexual predation, some of these youths are at more perils than others. According to research, girls aged between 13 to 15 years are likely to be more susceptible to this menace (Bogdanova, Rosso, & Solorio, 2012). Lasses of this age tend to find themselves in such precarious situations voluntarily through taking part in online dialogs with unknown persons, talking and flirting about sex through the Internet, and posting intimate personal material to them. Also, it is important to note that girls of this age are also more vulnerable to sexual exploitation, not only through the online platforms, but also the offline avenues.

Identifying Potential Victims

It is possible to identify these young girls that are potentially targeted by these predators. The girls possess certain character traits that are not their norm at regular times. Firstly, they spend a lot of time online alone (Bogdanova, Rosso, & Solorio, 2012). Since they do it in secrecy, it is not their wish that the parents or peers could learn of their activities and hence they resort to spending time alone when browsing the Internet. Secondly, there is the possibility of finding pornographic material or sexual images on their computers or smartphones (Bogdanova, Rosso, & Solorio, 2012). Predators often ask for nude photos of the victims so that it becomes easy for them to manipulate the girls through threatening them to share the imagery with the members of the public. Thirdly, these girls are likely to receive or make phone calls from and to people that the parent does not know nor recognize (Bogdanova, Rosso, & Solorio, 2012). These are the potential predators who are preying on the young for their sexual satisfaction. In the same way, the girls could receive emails from such individuals who are unknown to the parents. Fourthly, potential targets of sexual predators withdraw from both family and friends (Bogdanova, Rosso, & Solorio, 2012). Additionally, they turn the computer monitor off or changes the screen in case the parents enter the room. Secrecy is a significant indicator that the young girl could be a potential victim of the online sexual predators.

Parenting Remedies

From the research conducted in this paper, it is evident that the menace of online sexual predators is with the people and is potentially detrimental to the lives of the young girls. For this reason; it is crucial to protect these potential victims from falling prey to these predators. In this sense, the paper recommends ways in which the parents and adults at large can protect their children from this menace. Talking to the kids about the issue of the online sexual predators could be instrumental in creating awareness among them regarding the potential danger (Pujazon-Zazik, Manasse & Orrell-Valente, 2012). The kids become aware of the grooming process and hence they can easily detect predators once they unleash their tactics of trade. Also, installing parental control software can assist in the identification and block of harmful material in chats, group forums, and other web communication avenues. By applying the parental control software, it is vital to inform the kids that you have done so in a bid to protect, but not spy on them.

On top of the parental control software, placing the computer in a visible location or within the family room will work towards suppressing the materialization of online predators taking advantage of the little girls. Contrary to placing the computer in the child’s bedroom, it is likely that the predators will take advantage of the minor’s privacy to lure them into sexual behaviors. When there is the exposure of the computer to all the people around, the predators have fewer chances of managing to take advantage of the little girls. It is the case because the former tend to exploit the privacy of the latter. When a predator finds out the potential victim enjoys less privacy with her computer, it is likely that the mission will be abandoned since it will be aborted by the parents altogether (Cohen‐Almagor, 2013). Other than the computers, parents have to take into account that their children could have alternative means of accessing the Internet. For this reason; the adults need to be conscious of the other devices at home as well. Finally, parents should monitor and control the amount of time that their children spend browsing the Internet. When the young girls spend much time online and more at night, it could be a sign of potential predation. It is the case because as mentioned earlier, secrecy is a catalyst to the materialization of possible predation. Browsing for long periods especially at night provides this avenue for the predators to execute their plans on the potential victims.


The Internet has come with a change in the manner in which the modern society views sexuality because of the explicit content that it broadcasts. Other than the introduction of the online sexual predators, people are also finding lovers, couples, and erotic pleasure online. The issue of predation is criminal as it involves adult members of the society into coercing and blackmailing minors into conceding into sexual activities against their wish. The predators take advantage of possessing information or images that the minors consider classified in order to drive them into sexual engagements. Juveniles are likely to be potential victims of predators when they show the traits of spending a lot of time browsing the Internet in private and receiving pleasantries from strangers. Parents can protect their children against this menace through creating the awareness in them and monitoring their usage of the Internet.


Bogdanova, D., Rosso, P., & Solorio, T. (2012, July). On the impact of sentiment and emotion based features in detecting online sexual predators. In Proceedings of the 3rd Workshop in Computational Approaches to Subjectivity and Sentiment Analysis (pp. 110-118). Association for Computational Linguistics.

Cohen‐Almagor, R. (2013). Online child sex offenders: Challenges and counter‐measures. The Howard Journal of Crime and Justice, 52(2), 190-215, from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/hojo.12006/full

Pujazon-Zazik, M., Manasse, S., & Orrell-Valente, J. (2012). Adolescents' Self-presentation on a Teen Dating Web Site: A Risk-Content Analysis. Retrieved 9 November 2017, from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1054139X11006483

Wolak, J., & Finkelhor, D. (2013). Are crimes by online predators different from crimes by sex offenders who know youth in-person?. Journal of Adolescent Health, 53(6), 736-741, from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1054139X13003364

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