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Table 1 Coded categories

From: An exploratory study of public reports to investigate patterns and themes of requests for sexual images of minors online

Suspect themes


Recurrent and intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or sexual behaviors involving the observing of a person who is naked, in the process of disrobing, or engaging in sexual activity. This was a modification of Långström’s (2010) suggested criteria for the diagnostic and statistical manual (DSM V) as it excluded the necessity of the object of the behaviour being an unsuspecting person, or that it should cause the suspect distress


Similar to the above, recurrent and intense sexual fantasies, sexual urges, or sexual behaviors involving the exposure of one’s genitals to an unsuspecting stranger

 Peer sex

Sexual activity with someone of the same or opposite sex who is within 2 years of the same age

 Contact request

Suggestion/request/demand that the young person meet face-to-face

 Cell phone

Evidence of a request for contact or actual contact via a cell phone


Language that indicates that the young person is being threatened physically, verbally or emotionally to ensure further compliance


Offer of financial reward for engagement in sexual activity, either online or offline


Evidence that the suspect is pretending to be someone who is a different gender or significantly (more than 5 years) younger than their actual age


Vigilante acts taken through the internet, as a way of identifying anti-social behaviour (such as online luring)

 Sexual images

Requests for sexual images to be produced through mobile devices or web cameras and sent to the suspect

Victim themes


Young person indicates that the do not wish to have contact with the suspect and use strategies to terminate it

 Self-generated content

Sexual images that are created and uploaded by the young person, usually using a cell phone or web cam. These images may be produced as part of a coercive online relationship, or out of sexual curiosity or part of a romantic relationship


Evidence given by the reporting person that the victim had been identified as having psychological difficulties, or intellectual or physical disabilities