Earlier this month Rose Kalemba, who had previously exposed Pornhub for hosting footage of her rape as a fourteen-year-old and their unwillingness to remove the footage for six months, exposed Pornhub hosting videos of her friend being raped as a toddler. Despite being flagged, Pornhub allowed the child rape videos to remain for hours, during which time they accumulated hundreds of views. We wrote about it here.Read more
*Content warning- this content may be distressing*
Child sexual exploitation material, or child sexual abuse material, refers to sexually abusive images of children. It may include photographic or video evidence of the rape, sexual abuse and torture of children and infants.
Virtual or computer-generated child sexual exploitation material is produced without the use of living children, depicting fictional children. Under Australian law, this content constitutes illegal child sexual exploitation material. The Commonwealth Criminal Code prohibits the sale, production, possession and distribution of offensive and abusive material that depicts a person, or is a representation of a person, who is or appears to be under 18. This includes virtual or animated representations of children, as well as child sex dolls.Read more
After almost half a million people have signed a petition to shut down Pornhub over cases of sex trafficking, rape and child sexual abuse, new reports of the porn site hosting videos of a toddler being abused have emerged.
Rose Kalemba, who had previously exposed Pornhub for hosting footage of her rape as a fourteen-year-old followed by a period of six months where she begged the site to remove the videos, has appealed to Pornhub again to remove videos documenting the abuse of her friend, who was a toddler at the time.Read more
*Content warning- this article mentions child sexual abuse which may be distressing for some readers*
In January, the United Nations released the Report of the Special Rapporteur on the sale and sexual exploitation of children, including child prostitution, child pornography and other child sexual abuse material, containing an overview of the main issues of concern and recommendations for going forward. The report examines the sexual exploitation and sale of children in a number of settings- online, in prostitution, in travel and tourism, sports and major sporting events, peace keeping and humanitarian aid, child marriage, illegal adoption and surrogacy.Read more
Pornhub petition featured in 10 DailyRead more
Executive "mega-pimps" must be held accountable for facilitating sex traffickingRead more
We have previously exposed major shopping app Wish selling lifelike, child-sized sex dolls marketed for men's sexual use. These products exist to aid users in their fantasies of raping children.
In Australia, under the Combatting Child Sexual Exploitation Legislation Amendment Bill 2019, child sex dolls are classified as child pornography material. Possession of a child sex doll is illegal, as is using a carriage service to advertise or solicit them, or using a postal service to send them.
Despite this, some advocates for child sex dolls claim they could prevent child sexual abuse and encourage their development for paedophilic use. Collective Shout's Campaigns Manager Caitlin Roper responded to these arguments in an essay published last month in Arena magazine, and reprinted in full at ABC Religion and Ethics.
"Better a robot than a real child": The spurious logic used to justify child sex dolls
By Caitlin Roper
Though highly controversial, child sex dolls are already on the market and have been sold through mainstream online retailers like Amazon and Wish for a number of years. Experts predict child sex robots will be next, and some believe they are already in production.
The highly gendered nature of sex dolls and robots is rarely acknowledged by academic supporters of the products. The vast majority of these dolls and robots are embodied female, typically designed according to pornographic standards. Research indicates that sex-doll owners are overwhelmingly men. Child sex dolls are similarly gendered and modelled on the bodies of prepubescent girls. I am yet to see a male-bodied child doll. Essentially, these products are lifelike material representations of women and girls marketed for men’s sexual use.
Academic proponents of female-bodied sex dolls and robots fail to situate the products within the wider cultural context in which they are produced — one in which gender inequality persists, where male violence against women and children remains a serious global problem, and where women and girls are raped, beaten, abused and prostituted by men. Within an existing system of male dominance and female subordination, female-bodied sex dolls reinforce women’s subordinate status and the sexual objectification of women and girls. Despite this reality, a number of academics encourage the manufacture of these products for men’s sexual use, and some actually herald child sex dolls as a therapeutic treatment for child rapists — an approach that I see as both misguided and irresponsible.
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Child-sex-doll advocates claim that childlike dolls will prevent the abuse of actual children. However, there is no assurance that paedophiles who have access to child dolls will use them instead of, and not in addition to, children. There is no evidence for the previously popular idea that men perpetrate sexual violence against women, children and other men due to uncontrollable sexual desire, or because they do not have a sufficient outlet for their urges. Likewise, there is no evidence that child sex dolls will lead to a reduction in the abuse of children.
The argument that child sex dolls could function as a sexual outlet, preventing individuals who would otherwise rape children from doing so, also fails to consider the wider cultural context in which these products are manufactured — a system of institutionalised male dominance, routine sexual objectification of women and a culture that eroticises girls.
Cultural messaging increasingly presents girls as sexually available and appealing. The “Teen” porn genre consistently features on the online pornography aggregator Pornhub’s list of most popular search terms. “Barely Legal” pornography featuring teens with pigtails, flat chests and braces can be purchased in newsagents and petrol stations. G-strings, padded bras and bikini tops, and underwear with sexually suggestive slogans are marketed to pre-teen girls. Advertising material depicts girls in sexualised and adultified ways. Schoolgirls are fetishised, and sexy-schoolgirl costumes are sold in mainstream retailers. Instagram routinely hosts sexualised content of underage girls and comment responses from predatory men. Major bookstores and online marketplaces have been exposed selling erotic e-books that feature incest and child abuse. Adult retailers sell male masturbators designed to emulate the vaginas of teenage girls — such as the Teenage Dream or Lolita Vibrating Vagina — with promotional material emphasising youth and innocence.
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I cannot help but conclude that the academic arguments in support of child sex dolls are baseless, unconvincing and are open to being hijacked by vested interests. They prioritise men’s sexual preferences over the rights of girls. Academic advocates fail to consider the gendered dynamics involved in the production of female-bodied child dolls for adult men’s sexual use, or to situate their development within a cultural context of gender inequality.
If child sex dolls function as advocates claim, they will maintain paedophiles’ sexual urges for children. Rather than encouraging restraint or investing energy into pursuing healthier relationships or sexual practices, child sex dolls enable the realistic fantasy experience of sexually abusing a child.
Child sex dolls and robots do not offer a solution to child sexual abuse. Rather, they detract from meaningful attempts to address an epidemic of child abuse and obscure the cultural drivers that contribute to it, such as male power and the sexualisation of girls. If ending child sexual exploitation is the objective, the answer will never be found in legitimising these practices.
This piece originally appeared in Arena Magazine no. 163 (arena.org.au).
No evidence child sex dolls prevent child sexual abuse, says report - Collective Shout
Wish app must stop selling child sex dolls - Collective Shout
"We will ensure that none of our brands advertise on Pornhub again, or on any other porn sites."Read more
Australian Institute of Criminology releases report on child sex dolls
The Australian Institute of Criminology has released the report ‘Exploring the implications of child sex dolls’ by Rick Brown and Jane Shelling. The report discusses child sex dolls in relation to the sexualisation of children, as an “escalated form of engaging with child pornography”, the normalisation of child sexual abuse and the risk of grooming.
The authors acknowledge that there is very little empirical evidence on the implications of sex dolls and child sex dolls, and therefore also draw on research on child exploitation material and sex offences in considering the implications of sex doll use and ownership.
Potential Harms: Escalation, Desensitisation, Objectification, Commodification and Grooming
The report documents a range of potential harms associated with the production, distribution and use of child sex dolls.
It is possible that use of child sex dolls may lead to escalation in child sex offences, from viewing online child exploitation material to contact sexual offending.
It may also desensitise the user from the potential harm that child sexual assault causes, given that such dolls give no emotional feedback.
The sale of child sex dolls potentially results in the risk of children being objectified as sexual beings and of child sex becoming a commodity.
Finally, there is a risk that child-like dolls could be used to groom children for sex, in the same way that adult sex dolls have already been used.
There is no evidence that child sex dolls have a therapeutic benefit in preventing child sexual abuse.
The authors conclude:
It is ‘reasonable to assume that interaction with child sex dolls could increase the likelihood of child sexual abuse by desensitising the doll user to the physical, emotional and psychological harm caused by child sexual abuse and normalising the behaviour in the mind of the abuser’.
We have previously exposed Wish app and Amazon for selling child sex dolls, along with a range of other replica child body parts marketed for sexual use. In response to our campaign, Wish withdrew these items from sale.
OPEN LETTER ON THE DANGERS OF NORMALISING SEX DOLLS & SEX ROBOTS