Confirmation Presentation - Melinda Osbourne - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Confirmation Presentation - Melinda Osbourne

We would like to invite you to attend the Confirmation Presentation of Melinda Osbourne, a Doctor of Philosophy candidate in the School of Health and Behavioural Sciences.

Thesis Title: The sexual extortion of children using cyberspace and telecommunication devices.

When: Wednesday 27 January 2021, 10:30am-12:00pm 

Where: IC1.49A



Social media and the internet are changing the way youth are interacting with peers, extended family, and others within society. Interaction with an online environment leaves young people open to predation. One such predatory action currently on the rise is sextortion. Sextortion is defined as a perpetrators use of threats to expose intimate images in order to obtain something of value (Wolak & Finkelhor, 2016). This PhD aims to look at sextortion in minors, using three age groups (8-10, 10-13, 14-18). The research aim to answer questions relating to the use of social media platforms to image share as well as the use of private communication. It also aims to assess the differences between parental perception of minors social media use compared to actual use. Finally, the research aims to answer questions relating to victims and perpetrators of sextortion in minors such as characteristics of victims, perpetrators, and the crime itself.


My name is Melinda, and I am a current PhD student at the University of the Sunshine Coast. My area of research is sextortion in children. I have an interest in research into sexual violence and as such, did my Honours (Psychology) thesis around child sexual abuse. I have one publication - Pathways to child sexual offending: Applying Ward and Siegert’s Model on offenders of penetrative offences on children. I am a student member of the Sexual Violence Research and Prevention Unit. My supervisors are, Dr Racheal Sharman, Dr Lara Christensen and Dr Ben Lane.


We look forward to seeing you there!​