Thu, Apr 2nd 2009 7:01am
A new study is out saying that the number of people arrested for soliciting sex with juveniles (or at least law enforcement posing as juveniles) online leapt fivefold from 2000 to 2006 -- but instead of using the stat to start a moral panic, people behind the study say the sharp increase doesn't signal a growing danger to kids, but rather better enforcement by police. During the same time span, arrests for solicitations of actual children increased 21 percent, from about 500 to about 600. The report's authors say that had the increase in arrests for online solicitation been due to an increase in the number of offenders, the two growth rates would have been more similar. This report goes along with an earlier one from the Berkman Center at Harvard, which found that as internet use has grown, the number of sex offenses against kids has dropped, once again highlighting that much of the moral panic over kids' safety online is overhyped and misplaced.
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