The definition of child ‘self-generated’ sexual material is a complex one. This is partly because it includes a broad range of relational dynamics, interactions, and image-sharing scenarios that can now be said to account for a high proportion of the child sexual abuse content currently being shared online.
Children and young people may create this type of material as a positive and consensual exploration of their sexuality. On the other hand, other ‘self-generated’ material may occur following unwanted pressure or harassment within relationships or even directly through the circumstances of grooming, exploitation, abuse and coercion by adults or other peers.
In this research conducted with Praesidio Safeguarding, we listened to children and young people’s views on the issue of ‘self-generated’ sexual material in three different country contexts – Ghana, Thailand and Ireland. We conducted qualitative data gathering in the form of small focus groups with children aged 13-17. We encouraged them to share their general thoughts about how and why ‘self-generated’ sexual materials were shared, their views on responses to this issue and their ideas on how this could be improved.