Internet predators have addictive personalities. In fact, almost all online predators begin with an addiction to pornography. Many predators begin with soft-core pornography and descend into coarser material, ultimately indulging in child pornography and violent material.5
Chris Hansen, host of Dateline NBC’s “To Catch A Predator” stated, “The men in this group often start by viewing pornographic web sites, then come the chat rooms. Their addictions and compulsions develop to the point where the men no longer see the line between fantasy and reality. The only thing that will satisfy them is a face-to-face meeting with the target of their desire.”6
Researchers have documented this connection between pornography viewing and pursuit of victims as well. “There is a natural shift from pornography to desire for contact with children. They move from private fantasy into spaces where children are. They will actively seek victims. They are very patient and look for easy targets.”7 One study found that 39% of online child molesters possessed child pornography.8 Keep in mind that this statistic is a report only of the possession of child pornography discovered by authorities—the actual level of possession may be higher, and the level of access to such material is almost certainly higher.