Online Child Pornography: A Cultural Focus Literature Review [Pornografía infantil online: una revisión literaria de enfoque cultural]

María Inés Lovelle, Montserrat Yepes-Baldó, Marina Romeo, Miguel Ángel Soria



Due to the Internet expansion around the world, child pornography is internationally considered as a crime, but we are uncertain of whether culture has some impact on it. The objective of the present review was to explore cultural aspects included in literature as key variables to analyse this type of crimes, using Hofstede’s cultural dimensions (2010) as theoretical framework. A total of 125 papers on pornography (period: 2003-2016) were found in Web of Science®; but only 50 contain some implicit or explicit cultural references. The results showed few cultural variables considered for the scientific approach to child pornography, being the country of birth or race the mainly only ones considered. The major contribution of our research highlights the importance to incorporate the cultural dimension in the police task to assess the indicators that determine the risk factors in aggressors. In this sense, the present research contributes to hypothesize probable cultural differences when using tools as the Kent Internet Risk Assessment Tool (KIRAT) in the European context.


La eclosión de Internet a nivel mundial ha facilitado la diseminación de pornografía infantil, siendo esta consi­derada un crimen a escala internacional. Por ello, hemos considerado relevante analizar los aspectos culturales vinculados a este delito. El objetivo de la presente inves­tigación ha sido explorar los aspectos culturales incluidos en la literatura científica como variables clave para anali­zar este tipo de delitos, partiendo de las dimensiones culturales de Hofstede (2010) como marco teórico. Du­rante los años 2003 a 2016 se han publicado un total de 125 artículos sobre pornografía en la Web of Science®, si bien sólo 50 de ellos contenían referencias culturales implícitas o explícitas. Los resultados mostraron que son pocas las variables culturales consideradas, siendo el país de nacimiento o la raza las principalmente incluidas. El principal resultado de nuestra investigación constata la importancia de incorporar la dimensión cultural en el tra­bajo policial al establecer los indicadores que determinan el factor de riesgo en agresores. En este sentido, en el contexto europeo, herramientas como la Kent Internet Risk Assessment Tool (KIRAT) se han visto enriqueci­das a partir de los resultados de esta investigación


Online; Child pornography; Culture; Internet; Hofstede’s cultural dimensions [En línea; Pornografía infantil; Cultura; Internet; Dimensiones culturales de Hofstede]

Full Text:



Ainsaar, L. & Lööf, L. (2011). Online behaviour related to child sexual abuse. Retrieved from

Burgess, A. W., Mahoney, M., Visk, J., & Morgenbesser, L. (2008). Cyber Child Sexual Explotation. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing, 46(9), 38-45.

Dando, C. J. & Oxburgh, G. E. (2016). Empathy in the field: Towards a Taxonomy of Empathic Communication in Information Gathering Interviews with Suspected Sex Offenders. European Journal of Psychology Applied to Legal Context, 8(1), 27-33.

Delgado-Coto, S. & França-Tarragó, O. (2014). Flujo de material pornográfico infantil online: Estudio exploratorio en 10 países de América Latina con foco en Uruguay [Flow of Child Pornographic Material Online: An Exploratory Study in 10 Latin American Countries Focusing on Uruguay]. Ciencias Psicológicas, 8(1), 55-67.

Diamond, M., Jozifkova, E., & Weiss, P. (2011). Pornography and Sex Crimes in the Czech Republic. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40(5), 1037-1043.

Children Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (2013). Threat assessment of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Retrieved from

Fariña, F., Arce, R., & Real, S. (1994). Ruedas de identificacion: de la simulación y la realidad [Lineups: A comparison of High Fidelity Research and Research in a Real Context]. Psicothema, 7, 395-402. Retrieved from

Fariña, F., Arce, R., Sobral, J., & Carames, R. (1991). Predictors of Anxiety Towards Computers. Computers in Human Behavior, 7(4), 263-267.

Frei, A., Erenay, N., Dittmann, V., & Graf, M. (2005). Paedophilia on the Internet - a Study of 33 Convicted Offenders in the Canton of Lucerne. Swiss Medical Weekly, 135(33-34), 488-494.

Ganescu, C., Gangone, A., & Asandei, M. (2014). Assessing the Impact of the National Cultural Framework on Responsible Corporate Behaviour Towards Consumers: An Application of Geert Hofstede's Cultural Model. Amfiteatru Economic, 16(35), 351-366.

Goethals, F. G., Carugati, A., & Leclercq, A. (2009). Differences in e-Commerce Behavior between Neighboring Countries - The case of France and Belgium. Data Base for Advances in Information Systems, 40(4), 88-116.

Haag, M., Duan, Y., & Mathews, B. (2007, September). Knowledge Development in e-Learning Environments: A Cross-Cultural Perspective. In Proceedings of the 8th European Conference on Knowledge Management (ECKM 2007) (Vol. 1, pp. 391-397). Barcelona, Spain.

Hernandez, A. E. (2000, November). Self-reported Contact Sexual Offenses by Participants in the Federal Bureau of Prison’s Sex Offender Treatment Program: Implications for Internet Sex Offenders. Paper presented at the 19th Research and Treatment Conference of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers, San Diego, California.

Hinkson, M. (2009). Australia’s Bill Henson scandal: Notes on the new cultural attitude to images. Visual Studies, 24(3), 202-213.

Hofstede, G. (2001). Culture's consequences: Comparing values, behaviors, institutions, and organizations across nations (2nd ed.). London: Sage Publications.

Hofstede, G. (2016). Country comparison. [Data set obtained from the website]. Retrieved from

Hofstede, G., Hofstede, G. J., & Minkov, M. (2010). Cultures and organizations. Software of the mind. London: McGraw-Hill.

Holt, T. J., Blevins, K. R., & Burkert, N. (2010). Considering the pedophile subculture online. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 22(1), 3-24.

House, R. J., Hanges, P. J., Javidan, M., Dorfman, P. W., & Gupta, V. (Eds.). (2004). Culture, leadership, and organizations: The GLOBE study of 62 societies. London: Sage publications.

International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (2010). Pornografía Infantil: Modelo de Legislación y Revisión Global [Child Pornography: Legislation and Global Review Model] (6th. ed.). Retrieved from

International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (2012). Pornografía Infantil: Modelo de Legislación y Revisión Global [Child Pornography: Legislation and Global Review Model] (7th ed.). Retrieved from

International Telecommunication Union (2009). Guidelines for policy makers on child online protection. Retrieved from

International Telecommunication Union (2013). Gender ICT Statistics (2010-2012). Retrieved from

Internet Watch Foundation (2010). Annual Report. Retrieved from

Jewkes, Y. (2010). Much ado about nothing? Representations and Realities of Online Soliciting of Children. Journal of Sexual Aggression, 16(1), 5-18.

Laulik, S., Allam, J., & Sheridan, L. (2007). An Investigation into Maladaptive Personality Functioning in Internet Sex Offenders. Psychology, Crime & Law, 13(5), 523–535.

Long, M., Alison, L., Tejeiro, R., Hendricks, E., & Giles, S. (2016). KIRAT: Law Enforcement’s Prioritization Tool for Investigating Indecent Image Offenders. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 22(1), 12-21.

Mitchell, K. J., Finkelhor, D., Jones, L. M., & Wolak, J. (2012). Prevalence and Characteristics of Youth Sexting: A National Study. Pediatrics, 129(1), 13-20.

Moller, J. & Eisend, M. (2010). A Global Investigation into the Cultural and Individual Antecedents of Banner Advertising Effectiveness. Journal of International Marketing, 18(2), 80-98.

Negredo, L. & Herrero, O. (2016). Pornografía infantil en Internet [Child Pornography on the Internet]. Papeles del Psicólogo, 37(3), 217-223. Retrieved from

Niveau, G. (2010). Cyber-Pedocriminality: Characteristics of a Sample of Internet Child Pornography Offenders. Child Abuse & Neglect, 34, 570-575.

Northouse, P. G. (2012). Leadership: Theory and practice (6th Ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Omi, M. & Howard W. (1994). Racial Formation in the United States: From the 1960s to the 1990s. New York: Routledge.

Onel, N. & Mukherjee, A. (2014). The Effects of National Culture and Human Development on Environmental Health. Environment Development and Sustainability, 16 (1), 79-101.

Quayle, E. & Jones, T. (2011). Sexualized Images of Children on the Internet. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 23(1), 7-21.

Reijnen, L., Bulten, E., & Nijman, H. (2009). Demographic and Personality Characteristics of Internet child Pornography Downloaders in Comparison to other Offenders. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 18(11), 611-622.

Rimm, M. (1995). Marketing Pornography on the Information Superhighway: A Survey of 917.410 Images, Descriptions, Short Stories, and Animations downloaded 8.5 million times by Consumers in over 2000 Cities in Forty Countries, Provinces, and Territories. The Georgetown Law Journal, 83, 1849-1934.

Romeo, M., Yepes-Baldó, M., Soria, M. A., & Lovelle, M. I. (2013). Incest and Culture. Unedited manuscript, Fighting International Internet Paedophilia (FIIP) Project. European Comission.

Sadeghi, K. Amani, J., & Mahmudi, H. (2013). A Structural Model of the Impact of Organizational Culture on Job Satisfaction among Secondary School Teachers. Asia-Pacific Education Researcher, 22(4), 687-700.

Schmidt, A. F., Gykiere, K., Vanhoeck, K., Mann, R. E., & Banse, R. (2014). Direct and Indirect Measures of Sexual Maturity Preferences Differentiate Subtypes of Child Sexual Abusers. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 26(2), 107-128.

Seigfried-Spellar, K. C. & Rogers, M. K. (2010). Low neuroticism and high hedonistic traits for female internet child pornography consumers. Cyberpsychology Behavior and Social Networking, 13(6), 629-635.

Smith, P., Bond, M., & Kağitçibaşi, Ç. (2006). Understanding social psychology across cultures: Living and working in a changing world. London: SAGE Publications.

Steel, C. M. (2015). Web-based child pornography: The global impact of deterrence efforts and its consumption on mobile platforms. Child Abuse & Neglect, 44, 150-158.

Tokunaga, R. S. (2009). Internet access to the other: The influence of cultural orientations on self-disclosures in Offline and Online Relationships. Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, 38(3), 133-147.

Tsourela, M. & Roumeliotis, M. (2015). The Moderating Role of Technology Readiness, Gender, and Sex in Consumer Acceptance and Actual Use of Technology-Based Services. The Journal of High Technology Management Research, 26(2), 124-136.

Webb, L., Craissati, J., & Keen, S. (2007). Characteristics of Internet Child Pornography Offenders: A Comparison with Child Molesters. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 19(4), 449-465.

Wolak, J., Finkelhor, D., & Mitchell, K. (2011). Child Pornography Possessors: Trends in Offender and Case Characteristics. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 23(1), 22-42.

Wolak, J., Finkelhor, D., & Mitchell, K. J. (2012). How often are Teens Arrested for Sexting? Data from a national sample of police cases. Pediatrics, 129(1), 4-12.

Wolak, J., Mitchell, K., & Finkelhor, D. (2003). Internet Sex Crimes against Minors: The Response of Law Enforcement. Alexandria, Virginia: National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

Wortley, R. & Smallbone, S. (2006). Child Pornography on the Internet. Retrieved from



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Comments on this article

View all comments

Copyright (c) 2017 Faculty of Psychology. Applied Psychology Service (UNED)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Attribution-NonCommercial  (CC BY-NC)This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.


Accion Psicologica

Applied Psychology Service (SPA), Faculty of Psychology (UNED).

C/ Juan del Rosal nº 10 28040 Madrid.


eISSN: 2255-1271