Emerging Patterns and Trends Report #1 Youth-Produced Sexual Content

The initial study carried out by IWF in 201214 responded to the increase in availability of self-generated sexual content depicting young people and attempted to provide a snapshot of data to quantify the extent to which control over this content was lost once it had been posted online.

The results of the original study evidenced the messages delivered by child protection agencies regarding permanence of information on the internet and the risks inherent to young people in creating and distributing this type of content. The 2012 study is still widely quoted in the media and by stakeholders and commentators involved in the protection of young people online. At the time of publication it was proposed that the study be regularly repeated to enable trends in the distribution of self-generated sexual content featuring young people to be mapped and monitored.

The purpose of the Study was therefore to:

  • a) Update the research to provide a current picture of the situation;
  • b) Incorporate recommendations of the initial 2012 study, and
  • c) Respond to specific queries raised by stakeholders relating to data which is not currently available but which IWF may be able to provide – for example with regard to the age and gender breakdown of the individuals depicted and the severity of the content.