Larmrapporter kring att unga kontaktas i sexuella syften på nätet är så många att jag inte ens orkar börja leta efter nyhetsartiklar att länka till, men Crimes Against Children Research Center tog sig åtminstone tid att undersöka nätrovdjuren ("online predators") - rapportens (pdf) sammanfattning:
Some key findings of the report are:
• Between 2000 and 2006, there was a 21% increase in arrests of offenders who solicited youth online for sex. During the same time, there was a 381% increase in arrests of offenders who solicited undercover investigators posing as youth.
• In 2006, of those arrested for soliciting online, 87% solicited undercover investigators and 13% solicited youth.
• During the same period that online predator arrests were increasing, overall sex offenses against children and adolescents were declining, as were overall arrests for such crimes.
• Arrests of online predators in 2006 constituted about 1% of all arrests for sex crimes committed against children and youth.
• During the interval between the two studies (2000 ‐ 2006), the percentage
of U.S. youth Internet users ages 12‐17 increased from 73% to 93%.
• Although arrests of online predators are increasing, especially arrests for soliciting undercover law enforcement, the facts do not suggest that the Internet is facilitating an epidemic of sex crimes against youth. Rather, increasing arrests
for online predation probably reflect increasing rates of youth Internet
use, a migration of crime from offline to online venues, and the growth of law enforcement activity against online crimes.
• The nature of crimes in which online predators used the Internet to meet and victimize youth changed little between 2000 and 2006, despite the advent of social
networking sites. Victims were adolescents, not younger children. Most offenders were open about their sexual motives in their online communications with youth. Few crimes (5%) involved violence.
• There was no evidence that online predators were stalking or abducting unsuspecting victims based on information they posted at social networking sites.
• There was a significant increase in arrests of young adult offenders, ages 18 to 25.
• Few of those arrested for online predation were registered sex offenders (4%).
"Barnarovet" utgörs alltså i stort av tidigare ostraffade, icke-våldsamma män i 18-25-årsåldern (tyvärr delas inte den kategorin upp ytterligare i studien), öppna med sina motiv och intresserade av tonårsflickor (även det en bred kategori i rapporten) - samma typ av kontaktsökande som pågått i årtusenden innan detta utan att någon ansett det vara ett bekymmer.
Rättssamhällets svar på detta blir alltså följaktligen en drastisk resursallokering till bekämpandet av fenomenet i fråga, dessutom via uppenbarligen aggressiv stämpling.
Rapporten sammanfattas även i ytterligare en mening [författarnas versaler]:
The findings here should emphatically NOT be interpreted to suggest that the Internet is a dangerous environment for children or youth or that the Internet is ridden with sex crimes or becoming more dangerous.