Correlates of admitted sexual interest in children among individuals convicted of child pornography offenses

Journal article
Canadian CW research
Authors
Seto, Michael C.
Eke, Angela W.
Source
Law and Human Behavior, 41(3), 305-313
Abstract

Recent research on a risk assessment tool for child pornography offending suggests that admission of sexual interest in children is a risk factor for any sexual recidivism. Admission is easily vulnerable to lying, however, or to refusals to respond when asked about sexual interests. This may become a particular issue when individuals are concerned about the potential impact of admission of sexual interest on sentencing and other risk-related decisions. In this study, we identified the following behavioral correlates (coded yes/no) of admission of sexual interest in children in the risk tool development sample of 286 men convicted of child pornography offenses: (a) never married (54% of sample), (b) child pornography content included child sexual abuse videos (64%), (c) child pornography content included sex stories involving children (31%), (d) evidence of interest in child pornography spanned 2 or more years (55%), (e) volunteered in a role with high access to children (7%), and (f) engaged in online sexual communication with a minor or officer posing as a minor (10%). When summed, the average score on this Correlates of Admission of Sexual Interest in Children (CASIC) measure was 2.21 (SD = 1.22, range 0-6) out of a possible 6, and the CASIC score was significantly associated with admission of sexual interest in children, area under the curve (AUC) = .71, 95% CI [ .65, .77]. The CASIC had a stronger relationship with admission in a small cross-validation sample of 60 child pornography offenders, AUC = .81, 95% CI [.68, .95]. CASIC scores may substitute for admission of sexual interest in risk assessment involving those with child pornography offenses.