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The motivations behind using CSAM can generally be divided into three main groups:

1. Sexual interest in children or other deviant sexual interest

An individual in this category gets sexually aroused when looking at pictures of children. The use of CSAM serves to satisfy their sexual needs and urges. Being sexually interested in children does not, however, automatically lead to CSAM use, because a thought is different from an act. Directing sexual gratification needs at CSAM or deviant objects can be a temporary or permanent characteristic. For some, sexual contact with a child/using CSAM may represent a longing for intimacy and relatedness. For others, the motive/objective of the using CSAM is to reinforce their sense of autonomy and control.9

2. Feeling emotionally connected with a child, whereby the adult can feel connected to a child, easier than to an adult

In these situations, an intimate, emotional relationship with an adult may seem scary. Through watching CSAM, an individual can get a feeling of closeness/connection with another person, even only through images.

3. A person can meet other psychological needs through watching CSAM (Good Lives Model (GLM)-needs)

The Good Lives Model (GLM) theory explains an individual's use of CSAM through the pursuit of nine Good Life goals (needs) using the wrong methods resulting from the individual inadequate problem-solving skills. Rehabilitation helps you identify such deficits in yourself and replace them with more effective problem-solving strategies. With new skills, you are better able to fulfil your life goals without harming yourself or other people through your actions.

E.g. CSAM might be used to ease stress or loneliness.

Think about which of the three categories you might fall into. What are your main motivations for using CSAM?