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Crime

Gay people are four times more likely to face ‘revenge porn’

Nick Duffy December 20, 2016
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Lesbian, gay and bisexual people are more than four times more likely to be the victims of ‘revenge porn’, a study has found.

Revenge porn is the act of publishing private sexual images of people online without consent.

Though it was criminalised in the UK in 2015, other countries are lagging behind on legislation to ban the practise, which has naturally boomed since the invention of smartphone cameras.

This week, a study from the US-based Center for Innovative Public Health Research found that the issue had a shockingly disproportionate impact on LGB people, who were more likely to be victims.

While just four percent of the general public have been the victim of either revenge porn or threats to post it, among LGB people the number jumps to 17 percent.

The study notes: “Among internet users who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB), 15% say someone has threatened to share a nude or nearly-nude photo or video of them without their permission, a far higher rate than among heterosexual internet users (2%).

“In addition, 7% of LGB respondents have had someone share a nude or nearly nude image of them, compared with 2% of heterosexual internet users.

“Taken together, 17% of LGB Americans have either had an image shared without their consent or have had someone threaten to share an image of them.”

The prevalence of hook-up apps in the gay community may be a factor in the disproportionate impact on LGB people, as well as pre-existing issues relating to ‘outing’ people who are in the closet.

Amanda Lenhart, of the Data & Society Research Institute said: “Nonconsensual pornography can have a devastating and lasting impact on victims, so it’s vital that we understand how common this is and who is affected.

“Our findings show that particular groups  -such as young adults and lesbian, gay, and bisexual Americans – are not only much more likely to be victims of nonconsensual pornography, but are more likely to experience a range of online harassment and abuse.

“This includes other types of privacy violations, such as having their online or phone activity monitored, or having their passwords stolen or coerced by others.”

If you have been a victim of revenge porn and want to seek advice, call the UK helpline on 0345 6000 459.

Related topics: US

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