Report: ”Consent is KEY”

A report on exposure to sexual crime among children who identify as LGBTQIA+

This report is based on ECPAT Sweden’s (ECPAT) story-based survey “Nude Online” from 2022 and focuses on vulnerability to sexual crime among children who identify as LGBTQIA+, and their views on sex and relationships on the internet. Of the 6,919 children who answered the question of whether they identify as LGBTQIA+, 1,133 children stated that they did. The responses submitted by these 1,133 children were analysed by a focus group consisting of four children who all identified as LGBTQIA+.

It is difficult to categorically state that children who identify as LGBTQIA+ are more vulnerable to sexual crimes than other children according to this survey. It is, however, apparent that boys who identify as LGBTQIA+ are subjected to sexual crimes to a much greater extent than boys who do not. The same does not apply to girls who identify as LGBTQIA+. Non-binary children (the only clearly identified transgender identity in our material) are equally vulnerable to sexual crimes as girls and also have similar attitudes regarding sex, relationships and obtaining information on the internet.

Children who identify as LGBTQIA+ (regardless of gender identity) are, to a higher degree than those who do not identify as LGBTQIA+, vulnerable to exploitation by perpetrators who purchase nude photos or exploit them through the purchase of sexual acts. The survey shows that boys who identify as LGBTQIA+ and non-binary have been exploited through the purchase of sexual acts to a greater extent than other groups, which the findings from previous research have also shown. In previous research, the non-binary group has stood out more, although to our knowledge there is no study that has compared the group of boys who identify as LGBTQIA+ with the non-binary group.

The report findings show that children who identify as LGBTQIA+ perceive the internet as more important for obtaining information about sex and relationships, compared to children who do not identify as LGBTQIA+. The children’s responses also illustrate noticeable differences when it comes to their views on or experience of consent, bodily autonomy and age differences. In the survey and focus group responses, it is clear that children who identify as LGBTQIA+ have longer and more complex reasoning than other groups with regard to these issues.    

Furthermore, the report shows that children who identify as LGBTQIA+ state to a lesser extent than other groups that they have subjected other children to sexual crimes on the internet.


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