Public Sector Network Tender Alert


Assessing the evidence base in relation to the impact of pornography on children and young people: A literature review

This research project is designed to inform the Office of the Children’s Commissioner’s Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Gangs and Groups (CSEGG). Since its launch in October 2011, the CSEGG Inquiry has embarked on an evidence gathering process to understand the scale, scope, extent and nature of child sexual exploitation in gangs and groups. This process has begun to uncover a number of issues that the OCC needs to unpick and understand: one of these is whether accessing and viewing pornography is having an impact of children and young people’s expectations and attitudes towards sexual activity and relationships. The OCC has been made aware that there is a significant gap within academic literature and research in relation to children and young people’s use of online pornography in general, and their viewing of extreme or violent pornography more specifically. And yet, interviews with professionals over the course of the CSEGG Inquiry have unearthed consistent concerns about the impact of pornography, which has also been reflected by the media and wider public debate (Perry 2012, Flood 2009). This is not a question about the impact of adults viewing images indecent and abusive images of children and those who commit contact abuse of children. We are also aware that research exists which indicates that a causal link cannot be established between viewing indecent and abusive images of children and perpetrating contact child abuse. Rather, we are interested in whether evidence exists of the impact on children of viewing pornography in general, including that which is extreme and violent, in relation to children’s attitudes and expectations for sexual contact. In turn, the OCC wants to understand whether access to pornography sends messages to children and young people about sexual violence and consent, which may impact upon harmful attitudes associated with sexual exploitation. At this stage we are aware that there are ethical and time constraints for producing the answers to all of these questions. However, to begin the process the OCC is keen to learn about what evidence exists, or can be drawn upon within academic and other literature, in relation to children and young people’s use of pornography. The findings of this research will inform the CSEGG Inquiry Chair, Panel and Project Team, and the recommendations made in the final CSEGG Inquiry report, in relation to the remedial action required to tackle child sexual exploitation in gangs and groups.

Ref: Ref no:7,


Office of the Children's Commissioner
33 Greycoat Street,London
Douglas Smith
020 7340 7227
020 7931 7544

Contract value: 20000.00 - 25000.00GBP

Published: 26 Nov 2012, Receipt by: 13 Dec 2012