Rape pornography

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Rape pornography is a subgenre of pornography involving the description or depiction of rape. It can show simulated or real rape. It is not the same as the depiction of rape in non-pornographic media. Simulated scenes of rape and other forms of sexual violence have appeared in mainstream cinema, including rape and revenge films, almost since its advent. [1]


The legality of simulated rape pornography varies among jurisdictions of the world. It is controversial because of the argument that it encourages people to commit rape. However, studies of the issue and effects of pornography depicting sexual violence produce conflicting results. [2] It has been mentioned in discussions concerning opposition to pornography. Simulated rape pornography is linked to rape fantasy. Numerous internet users search for 'rape scenes' and 'forced sex videos' on pornography websites. [3]

The creation of real rape pornography is a sex crime in countries where rape is illegal. Real rape pornography, including child rape pornography, is created for profit and other reasons. [4]

Rape pornography, as well revenge porn and other similar subgenres depicting violence, have been associated with rape culture. [5] [6] [7]


United Kingdom

The possession of rape pornography is illegal in Scotland, England and Wales.

In Scotland, the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 criminalised possession of "extreme" pornography. This included depictions of rape, and "other non-consensual penetrative sexual activity, whether violent or otherwise", including those involving consenting adults and images that were faked. [8] The maximum penalty is an unlimited fine and 3 years imprisonment. [9] The law is not often used, and it resulted in only one prosecution during the first four years that it was in force. [10]

In England and Wales it took another five years before pornography which depicts rape (including simulations involving consenting adults) was made illegal in England and Wales, bringing the law into line with that of Scotland. Section 63 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 had already criminalised possession of "extreme pornography" but it did not explicitly specify depictions of rape. [11] At that time it was thought that the sale of rape pornography might already be illegal in England and Wales as a result of the Obscene Publications Act 1959, but the ruling in R v Peacock in January 2012 demonstrated that this was not the case. The introduction of a new law was first announced in 2013 by the UK Prime Minister David Cameron. [12] In a speech to the NSPCC he stated that pornography that depicts simulated rape "normalise(s) sexual violence against women", although the Ministry of Justice criminal policy unit had previously stated that "we have no evidence to show that the creation of staged rape images involves any harm to the participants or causes harm to society at large". [13]

In February 2015, Section 16 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 amended the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 to criminalise the possession of pornographic imagery depicting acts of rape. The law only applies to consensual, simulated, fantasy material. The possession of an image capturing an actual rape, for example CCTV footage, is not illegal; but a "make believe" image created by and for consenting adults is open to prosecution. [13] In January 2014 sexual freedom campaign groups criticised Section 16 as being poorly defined and liable to criminalise a wider range of material than originally suggested. [14] However, in April 2014 the BBFC's presentation to Parliament suggested that the proposed legislation would not cover "clearly fictional depictions of rape and other sexual violence in which participants are clearly actors, acting to a script". [15]


In Germany, the distribution of pornography featuring real or faked rape is illegal. [16]

United States

There are few practical legal restrictions on rape pornography in the United States. Law enforcement agencies concentrate on examples where they believe a crime has been committed in the production. "Fantasy" rape pornography depicting rape simulations involving consenting adults are not a priority for the police. [17]

In response to the verdict of the People v. Turner sexual assault case, xHamster instituted a "Brock Turner rule", which banned videos involving rape, including those involving sex with an unconscious partner or hypnosis. [18]

Real rape cases


American porn actress Linda Lovelace wrote in her autobiography Ordeal , that she was coerced and raped in pornographic films in the 1970s. [19]


Internet policing with respect to investigating actual crime has been made increasingly difficult by rape pornography websites operating anonymously, ignoring ICANN regulations and providing false information for the Whois database. [17]

It was reported that sexual assault occurred on the casting couch website GirlsDoPorn while it was in operation. Many of the women featured were allegedly blackmailed. [20]

Japanese women were forced to be in pornographic videos in the 2010s. [21]

Real rape videos of women and girls were filmed in the Doctor's Room and Nth room cases in South Korea in late 2010s and early 2020s. [22] [23] [24] [25]

Videos showing real rape have been hosted on popular pornographic video sharing and pornography websites. [26] [27] These websites have been criticized by petitioners. [28] [29]

Cybersex trafficking

Victims of cybersex trafficking have been forced into live streaming rape pornography, [30] [31] [32] which can be recorded and later sold. They are raped by traffickers in front of a webcam and or forced to perform sex acts on themselves or other victims. The traffickers film and broadcast the sex crimes in real time. Victims are frequently forced to watch the paying consumers on shared screens and follow their orders. It occurs in locations, commonly referred to as ‘cybersex dens,’ that can be in homes, hotels, offices, internet cafes, and other businesses. [33]

Related Research Articles

Cybersex, also called computer sex, Internet sex, netsex and, colloquially, cyber or cybering, is a virtual sex encounter in which two or more people connected remotely via computer network send each other sexually explicit messages describing a sexual experience. Cybersex is a sub-type of technology-mediated sexual interactions. In one form, this fantasy sex is accomplished by the participants describing their actions and responding to their chat partners in a mostly written form designed to stimulate their own sexual feelings and fantasies. Cybersex often includes real life masturbation. Environments in which cybersex takes place are not necessarily exclusively devoted to that subject, and participants in any Internet chat may suddenly receive a message of invitation. The quality of a cybersex encounter typically depends upon the participants' abilities to evoke a vivid, visceral mental picture in the minds of their partners. Imagination and suspension of disbelief are also critically important. Cybersex can occur either within the context of existing or intimate relationships, e.g. among lovers who are geographically separated, or among individuals who have no prior knowledge of one another and meet in virtual spaces or cyberspaces and may even remain anonymous to one another. In some contexts cybersex is enhanced by the use of a webcam to transmit real-time video of the partners. Non-consensual cybersex occurs in cybersex trafficking crimes.

Pornography laws by region

Pornography laws by region vary throughout the world. The production and distribution of pornographic films are both activities that are lawful in many, but by no means all, countries so long as the pornography features performers aged above a certain age, usually eighteen years. Further restrictions are often placed on such material.

Child grooming is befriending and establishing an emotional connection with a child, and sometimes the family, to lower the child's inhibitions with the objective of sexual abuse. Child grooming is also regularly used to lure minors into various illicit businesses such as child trafficking, child prostitution, cybersex trafficking, or the production of child pornography.

Commercial sexual exploitation of children

Commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) is a commercial transaction that involves the sexual exploitation of a child, such as the prostitution of children, child pornography, including live streaming sexual abuse, and the sale and trafficking of children. CSEC may involve coercion and violence against children, economic exploitation, forced labour, contemporary slavery

Due to the international nature of the Internet, the legal status of Internet pornography carries with it special issues with regard to the law. There is no one set of laws that apply to the distribution, purchase, or possession of Internet pornography. This means that, for example, even if a pornographer is legally distributing pornography, the person receiving it may not be legally doing so due to local laws.

Pornography in Europe

Pornography in Europe has been dominated by a few pan-European producers and distributors, the most notable of which is the Private Media Group that successfully claimed the position previously held by Color Climax Corporation in the early 1990s. Most European countries also have local pornography producers, from Portugal to Serbia, who face varying levels of competition with international producers. The legal status of pornography varies widely in Europe; its production and distribution are illegal in countries such as Ukraine, Belarus and Bulgaria, while Hungary is noted for having liberal pornography laws.

Pornography Explicit portrayal of sexual acts and intercourse

Pornography is the portrayal of sexual subject matter for the exclusive purpose of sexual arousal. Pornography may be presented in a variety of media, including magazines, animation, writing, film, video, and video games. The term does not include live exhibitions like sex shows and striptease. The primary subjects of present-day pornographic depictions are pornographic models, who pose for still photographs, and pornographic actors who engage in filmed sex acts.

Section 63 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 is a law in the United Kingdom criminalising possession of what it refers to as "extreme pornographic images". The law was enacted from 26 January 2009. The legislation was brought in following the murder of Jane Longhurst by a man who was said at the time of his trial to have had "extreme pornography" in his possession at the time of the death. The law has been more widely used than originally predicted, raising concerns as to whether the legislation is being used for prosecutions beyond the scope originally envisaged by parliament.

Legal status of fictional pornography depicting minors

The legal status of fictional pornography depicting minors varies from country to country and concerns simulated pornography and child pornography.

An obscenity is any utterance or act that strongly offends the prevalent morality of the time. It is derived from the Latin obscēnus, obscaenus, "boding ill; disgusting; indecent", of uncertain etymology. The word can be used to indicate a strong moral repugnance, in expressions such as "obscene profits" or "the obscenity of war". As a legal term, it usually refers to graphic depictions of people engaged in sexual and excretory activity.

Child pornography laws in the United States specify that child pornography is illegal under federal law and in all states and is punishable by up to 20 years' imprisonment or fine of $5000. The Supreme Court of the United States has found child pornography to be "legally obscene", a term that refers to offensive or violent forms of pornography that have been declared to be outside the protections of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Federal sentencing guidelines on child pornography differentiate between production, distribution, and purchasing/receiving, and also include variations in severity based on the age of the child involved in the materials, with significant increases in penalties when the offense involves a prepubescent child or a child under the age of 12. U.S. law distinguishes between pornographic images of an actual minor, realistic images that are not of an actual minor, and non-realistic images such as drawings. The latter two categories are legally protected unless found to be obscene, whereas the first does not require a finding of obscenity.

The anti-pornography movement in the United Kingdom is a social movement that seeks to reduce the availability of pornography in the country. The movement originates from two distinct perspectives: some feminists oppose pornography because they regard it as a means of degrading women, while some conservatives view it as immoral. The movement has had some influence over legislation, resulting in a number of laws intended to restrict the availability of certain genres of pornography which are legal in a number of other countries. Feminists Against Censorship have described the movement as more concerted and better organised than similar movements in other Western liberal democracies.

Legality of child pornography

The legality of child pornography is explicitly addressed in 94 of the 187 Interpol member states as of 2008, according to research performed by the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC) Koons Family Institute on International Law and Policy. Of those 94 countries, 58 criminalized possession of child pornography regardless of intent to distribute. This figure does not count legislation outlawing all pornography; figures that also include non-specific bans on all pornography would therefore be higher if available.

Child pornography is pornography that exploits children for sexual stimulation. It may be produced with the direct involvement or sexual assault of a child or it may be simulated child pornography. Abuse of the child occurs during the sexual acts or lascivious exhibitions of genitals or pubic areas which are recorded in the production of child pornography. Child pornography may use a variety of mediums, including writings, magazines, photos, sculpture, drawing, cartoon, painting, animation, sound recording, film, video, and video games. Child pornography may be created for profit or other reasons.

Revenge porn is the distribution of sexually explicit images or videos of individuals without their consent. The sexually explicit images or video may be made by a partner in an intimate relationship with the knowledge and consent of the subject, or it may be made without their knowledge. The possession of the material may be used by the perpetrators to blackmail the subjects into performing other sex acts, to coerce them into continuing the relationship, to punish them for ending the relationship, or to silence them.

Pornography in Asia

Pornography in Asia is pornography created in Asia, watched in Asia, or consumed or displayed in other parts of the world as one or more genres of Asian porn.

Clare McGlynn

Clare Mary Smith McGlynn is a Professor of Law at Durham University. She specialises in the legal regulation of pornography, image-based sexual abuse, violence against women, and gender equality in the legal profession. In 2020, she was appointed an Honorary QC in recognition of her work on women’s equality in the legal profession and shaping new criminal laws on extreme pornography and image-based sexual abuse. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Lund University, Sweden, in 2018 in recognition of the international impact of her research on sexual violence and she is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. She has given evidence before Scottish and UK Parliaments on how to reform laws on sexual violence and online abuse, as well as speaking to policy audiences across Europe and Australia. In November 2019, she was invited to South Korea to share international best practice in supporting victims of image-based sexual abuse and she has worked with Facebook to support their policies on non-consensual intimate images. She regularly contributes to media debates about her areas of expertise, commenting in 2017 on whether pornography should be included on the school curriculum, whether it is ok to watch pornography in public, celebrity image-based sexual abuse, and on the proposed regulation of upskirting in England and Wales. She has submitted evidence to UK and Scottish Parliamentary committees. Her work with Erika Rackley on the cultural harm caused by rape pornography was instrumental in the Scottish Parliament's decision to criminalise possession of such material. McGlynn and Rackley were involved in Rape Crisis London's campaign to 'close the loophole' that makes possession of rape pornography lawful in England and Wales. The campaign was successful, and an amendment to include rape in the definition of 'extreme pornography' was incorporated into the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015.

The live streaming of crimes is a phenomenon in which people live stream criminal acts. Due to the fact publishing to social media is done with the intent of others viewing the published materials, it is often impossible to protect the privacy of the victims or people involved.

Sex trafficking in the Philippines is human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation and slavery that occurs in the Republic of the Philippines. The Philippines is a country of origin and, to a lesser extent, a destination and transit for sexually trafficked persons.

Cybersex trafficking, or live streaming sexual abuse is a cybercrime involving sex trafficking and the live streaming of coerced sexual acts and or rape on webcam.


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