Even an innocent research in search engines can turn out to be an accidental sexual offense. Aggressive marketing ploys of many pornography websites trick online users to visiting porn sites using hot links, pop ups with lewd photographs, or trapping users by bouncing them from porn site to porn site, making it hard to leave.
The chat rooms are also favourite hangouts of determined paedophiles. These online predators share information with other paedophiles usually in a network, on how to seduce or "groom" a victim. They constantly roam chat rooms for possible victims. Online predators use social networking sites such as Myspace or Tagged as a way to meet potential victims. Paedophiles also frequent Usenet newsgroups to post and exchange illicit materials and even to discuss various approaches to victimize. The internet is safe haven for many computer child molesters because of the internet's accessibility, affordability and user anonymity.
Several research studies have underlined harm exposure to pornography among children poses. Dr. John Money of Johns Hopkins University presented a theory on sexual deviance in his 1986 book Lovemaps. According to Dr. Money, "sexual deviance can be traced to experiences in childhood (Laaser, 2000, quoted in Cothran, 2004, p.34)." Many clinical psychologists support that pornography causes violence among children. They point to the possibility of desensitization of children. It is general fact that children model what they often see and hear. Exposure to obscene materials may result to children "accepting and carrying such sexual preferences to adulthood (Laaser, 2000, quoted in Cothran, 2004, p. 34)."
Sexual addiction also causes alarm. Sex as an addiction almost always begins with viewing soft-porn material and gradually shifts to hard-core. Laaser (2000, quoted in Cothran p. 35) says that "for substance or activity to be addictive it must create a chemical tolerance. Further, "sexual fantasy and activity has the ability to create brain tolerance to sex because of naturally produced brain chemicals (Laaser 2000, quoted in Cothran, 2004, p. 36)."
Government Regulation on Online Pornography
The issue of internet control is a double-edged sword that conflicts even advanced governance in the world. It is difficult to impose because censorship of online materials viewed harmful to children, may well affect fundamental human rights such as rights to free speech, and rights to information. The US Government has responded in the need to control harmful internet contents by passing to law the Communications Decency Act in 1996 and the Child Online Protection Act in 1998. Unfortunately, both commissions did not survive the onslaught of free speech supporters and the final ruling of the US Supreme Court and federal courts, respectively, revoking the Acts as infringing freedom of expression. The failure of the US government to regulate online activities simply shows the difficulty of setting up a regulatory body without impinging on fundamental liberties. There is a need to protect children from harmful materials online. However, the US Supreme Court recognizes "broadcast standards used to censor obscenity do not necessarily apply to the internet and the need to protect children from explicit sexual materials on-line does not supersede the rights of adults to have access to such