Module 9: Online World


This module aims to help you explore and gain understanding of the following:

  • The relationship between your online and offline social lives
  • How the internet can be used as a social outlet in your life
  • Problematic online relationships

Download module as a PDF.

Sexual offending happens in the offline and online world. However, some people we work with often tell us they would not have offended without the internet.

A huge majority of people have access to the internet but not everyone offends online.

Therefore, the internet doesn’t cause offending; people who have engaged in this behaviour online have made a choice to do so. However, it is important to consider how the internet may make offending behaviour easier for some people.

Sex and the Internet

The internet can, to some people, feel like an attractive place to engage in sexual behaviour. But why is that? Some people think the ‘Triple A Engine’ helps answer this question.

‘Triple A Engine’ (Cooper, 1998)


Accessibility – Pornography and sexual experiences are easily accessible online, anytime, day or night.

Anonymity – People may feel that they are anonymous and unknown online. This may result in a person detaching their online behaviour from their offline life and identity.

Affordability – Pornography and sexual experiences online may come at a low cost, or free.

Exercise 1: Sex and the Internet

What other aspects of the internet might make it feel like an attractive place to engage in sexual activity? Use the template to consider, for you, why the Internet became a place for sexual behaviour. Consider the examples below:

Now that you have identified why you used the internet as a place for sexual behaviour, it is important to consider why that might be a problem in some circumstances. Consider the ideas you had above, but now think about what the difficulties with these ideas might be. For example:


Download template


It is very important to us that this website is as effective as possible in supporting people to make important changes in their lives. The most important feedback we can receive is from users of the website themselves, to help us understand if the site is really helping people to change their online behaviour. We would therefore be very grateful if you could spare about 10-15 minutes to complete our anonymous survey. If you do not have time to complete the survey now, please do come back to it later. There are other links to the survey throughout the site.

To take the survey, please click here. Thank you. 


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