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1 in 5 Kids Have Seen Nonconsensually-Shared “Child Pornography”

According to survey participants, nearly 1 in 5 teen girls aged 13–17 and 1 in 10 teen boys that same age report they've shared their own nudes.

By October 26, 2021No Comments

Decades of studies from respected academic institutions, have demonstrated significant impacts of porn consumption for individuals, relationships, and society. "What’s the Research" aims to shed light on the expanding field of academic resources that showcase porn’s harms in a variety of ways. Below are selected excerpts from published studies on this issue.

The full study can be accessed here.

Thorn Research: Understanding sexually explicit images, self-produced by children

Authors: Thorn in partnership with Benenson Strategy Group
Published: August 2021


Self-generated child sexual abuse material (SG-CSAM) is a rapidly growing area of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) in circulation online and being consumed by communities of abusers.

Importantly, SG-CSAM—explicit imagery of a child that appears to have been taken by the child in the image—presents unique investigative challenges for law enforcement and a distinct threat to its victims.


The resulting research focused on kids aged 9 – 17 and caregivers of children in those same age groups. Both qualitative and quantitative tools were used.


This study has focused largely on the dynamics and potential harms of sexting.

Three important themes have emerged:

  1. Producing, sharing, and re-sharing is increasingly common, with many kids viewing “sharing nudes” or “sexting” as normal among peers.
  2. Experiences vary depending on the presence of consent and coercion, and the harm of initially consensual experiences can escalate rapidly when images are non consensually re-shared beyond the intended recipient.
  3. Reactions to kids seeking help with this issue often range from inaction to blame; this is compounding the harm of negative online experiences and further isolating kids in trouble.

According to survey participants, nearly 1 in 5 teenage girls aged 13–17 and 1 in 10 teenage boys that same age report that they have shared their own nudes (overall, 11% of kids aged 9-17 report having shared their own nudes)…

Few kids say they have personally re-shared SG-CSAM, though many more admit to having been exposed to non-consensually re-shared SG-CSAM.

Only 9% of kids aged 9–17 say they have re-shared SG-CSAM, while 21% say they have seen it.

The full study can be accessed here.

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