Rape pornography is a subgenre of pornography involving the description or depiction of rape. Such pornography either involves simulated rape, wherein sexually consenting adults feign rape, or it involves actual rape. Victims of actual rape may be coerced to feign consent such that the pornography produced deceptively appears as simulated rape or non-rape pornography. The depiction of rape in non-pornographic media is not considered rape pornography. Simulated scenes of rape and other forms of sexual violence have appeared in mainstream cinema, including rape and revenge films, almost since its advent.[1]

The legality of simulated rape pornography varies across legal jurisdictions. It is controversial because of the argument that it encourages people to commit rape. However, studies of the effects of pornography depicting sexual violence produce conflicting results.[2] The creation of real rape pornography is a sex crime in countries where rape is illegal. Real rape pornography, including statutory rape in child pornography, is created for profit and other reasons.[3] Rape pornography, as well as revenge porn and other similar subgenres depicting violence, has been associated with rape culture.[4][5][6]


This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (June 2008)

United Kingdom

The possession of rape pornography is illegal in Scotland, England and Wales.

In Scotland, the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 criminalised possession of "extreme" pornography. This included depictions of rape, and "other non-consensual penetrative sexual activity, whether violent or otherwise", including those involving consenting adults and images that were faked.[7] The maximum penalty is an unlimited fine and 3 years imprisonment.[8] The law is not often used, and it resulted in only one prosecution during the first four years that it was in force.[9]

In England and Wales, it took another five years before pornography which depicts rape (including simulations involving consenting adults) was made illegal in England and Wales, bringing the law into line with that of Scotland. Section 63 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 had already criminalised possession of "extreme pornography" but it did not explicitly specify depictions of rape.[10] At that time it was thought that the sale of rape pornography might already be illegal in England and Wales as a result of the Obscene Publications Act 1959, but the ruling in R v Peacock in January 2012 demonstrated that this was not the case. The introduction of a new law was first announced in 2013 by the UK Prime Minister David Cameron.[11] In a speech to the NSPCC he stated that pornography that depicts simulated rape "normalise(s) sexual violence against women", although the Ministry of Justice criminal policy unit had previously stated that "we have no evidence to show that the creation of staged rape images involves any harm to the participants or causes harm to society at large".[12]

In February 2015, Section 16 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 amended the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 to criminalise the possession of pornographic imagery depicting acts of rape. The law only applies to consensual, simulated, fantasy material. The possession of an image capturing an actual rape, for example CCTV footage, is not illegal; but a "make believe" image created by and for consenting adults is open to prosecution.[12] In January 2014 sexual freedom campaign groups criticised Section 16 as being poorly defined and liable to criminalise a wider range of material than originally suggested.[13] However, in April 2014 the BBFC's presentation to Parliament suggested that the proposed legislation would not cover "clearly fictional depictions of rape and other sexual violence in which participants are clearly actors, acting to a script".[14]


In Germany, the distribution of pornography featuring real or faked rape is illegal.[15]

United States

There are few practical legal restrictions on rape pornography in the United States. Law enforcement agencies concentrate on examples where they believe a crime has been committed in the production. "Fantasy" rape pornography depicting rape simulations involving consenting adults are not a priority for the police.[16]

In response to the verdict of the People v. Turner sexual assault case, xHamster instituted a "Brock Turner rule", which banned videos involving rape, including those involving sex with an unconscious partner or hypnosis.[17]

Real rape cases


American porn actress Linda Lovelace wrote in her autobiography, Ordeal, that she was coerced and raped in pornographic films in the 1970s.[18]


Main article: Internet pornography

Internet policing with respect to investigating actual crime has been made increasingly difficult by rape pornography websites operating anonymously, ignoring ICANN regulations and providing false information for the Whois database.[16]

From 2009 to 2020, the pornographic company GirlsDoPorn created hundreds of pornographic videos in which the women depicted were manipulated, coerced, lied to, given marijuana or other drugs or physically forced to have sex, according to the accounts of victims and material from a lawsuit against the company.[19][20][21][22] Six people involved in the website were charged with sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion in November 2019.[21] Official videos from the company were viewed over a billion times, including a paid subscription service on its website, and an estimated 680 million views on the tube site Pornhub, where the official channel was among the site's top 20 most viewed. Pirated copies of the videos were also viewed hundreds of millions of times.[20][23][24] According to a lawsuit, the videos could still be found on mainstream pornography websites up to at least December 2020.[25]

Japanese women were forced to be in pornographic videos in the 2010s.[26]

Real rape videos of women and girls were filmed in the Doctor's Room and Nth room cases in South Korea in late 2010s and early 2020s.[27][28][29][30]

Videos showing real rape have been hosted on popular pornographic video sharing and pornography websites.[31][32] These websites have been criticized by petitioners.[33][34]

Cybersex trafficking

Main article: Cybersex trafficking

Victims of cybersex trafficking have been forced into live streaming rape pornography,[35][36][37] which can be recorded and later sold. They are raped by traffickers in front of a webcam or forced to perform sex acts on themselves or other victims. The traffickers film and broadcast the sex crimes in real time. Victims are frequently forced to watch the paying consumers on shared screens and follow their orders. It occurs in locations, commonly referred to as ‘cybersex dens,’ that can be in homes, hotels, offices, internet cafes, and other businesses.[38]


  1. ^ Simpson, Clare (2013-11-15). "10 Controversial Films With Scenes Of Explicit Sexual Violence". WhatCulture.com. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  2. ^ "Pornography, Rape and Sex Crimes in Japan". Pacific Center for Sex and Society. University of Hawaii. 1999. Archived from the original on 2002-06-22.
  3. ^ "Website selling 'real' rape and child pornography videos shut down after arrest in Netherlands, Justice Department says". The Washington Post. March 12, 2020.
  4. ^ Hald, Gert Martin; Malamuth, Neil M.; Yuen, Carlin (1 January 2010). "Pornography and attitudes supporting violence against women: revisiting the relationship in nonexperimental studies". Aggressive Behavior. 36 (1): 14–20. doi:10.1002/ab.20328. ISSN 1098-2337. PMID 19862768.
  5. ^ Willis, Ellen (1993). "Feminism, Moralism, and Pornography". New York Law School Law Review. 38: 351. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
  6. ^ Odem, Mary E.; Clay-Warner, Jody (1998). Confronting Rape and Sexual Assault. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 111. ISBN 978-0-8420-2599-7.
  7. ^ "Revitalising Justice – Proposals To Modernise And Improve The Criminal Justice System". Scotland.gov.uk. 2008-09-24. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
  8. ^ "Information on the new offence of Possession of Extreme Pornographic Images" (PDF). The Scottish Government. 1 Mar 2011. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
  9. ^ Dan Bunting (22 April 2014). "Criminal Justice and Courts Bill – new criminal offences". Halsbury's Law Exchange.
  10. ^ "Crackdown on violent porn". The Scotsman. Johnston Publishing. 2006-08-31.
  11. ^ "Online pornography to be blocked by default, PM announces". BBC News. 22 July 2013. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
  12. ^ a b Myles Jackman (13 August 2013). "Government to "get to grips" with Rape-Porn". Myles Jackman. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
  13. ^ Jerry Barnett (20 February 2014). "Letter to MPs on Criminalising "Rape Porn"". Sex & Censorship.
  14. ^ Ben Yates (4 April 2014). "UK Censors Approve Unrealistic Rape Porn". Sex and Censorship.
  15. ^ "German Criminal Code". Gesetze-im-internet.de. Retrieved 2012-02-20.
  16. ^ a b Craig Timberg (6 December 2013). "How violent porn site operators disappear behind Internet privacy protections". The Washington Post. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
  17. ^ Russon, Mary-Ann (14 June 2016). "xHamster to crack down on rape porn, adopts 'Brock Turner Rule'". International Business Times.
  18. ^ MacKinnon, Catherine A. (2006). Are Women Human?: And Other International Dialogues. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
  19. ^ Hargrove, Dorian; Payton, Mari; Jones, Tom (February 8, 2019). "Uncovering A San Diego Porn Scheme: Deception, Humiliation Follow Online Ads". NBC 7 San Diego. Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  20. ^ a b Hargrove, Dorian (January 4, 2017). "San Diego's porn studios". San Diego Reader. Retrieved March 20, 2020.
  21. ^ a b Turner, Gustavo (October 17, 2019). "Here's What You Need to Know About the GirlsDoPorn Case". XBIZ. Retrieved May 2, 2020.
  22. ^ Lee, Timothy B. (October 3, 2019). "GirlsDoPorn, on trial for fraud, still isn't leveling with new models". Ars Technica. Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  23. ^ Savage, Jared (October 19, 2019). "Childhood friends from Christchurch Michael James Pratt and Matthew Isaac Wolfe face FBI sex trafficking charges over GirlsDoPorn website". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
  24. ^ Valens, Ana (October 15, 2019). "Pornhub pulls Girls Do Porn videos amid sex trafficking charges". The Daily Dot. Retrieved February 25, 2020.
  25. ^ Maiberg, Emanuel; Cole, Samantha (December 17, 2020). "Tube Sites Are Scrubbing Girls Do Porn Videos After Pornhub Lawsuit". Vice. Retrieved December 18, 2020.
  26. ^ "'It was like rape': Women in Japan tricked into pornography". ABC News. 10 June 2017. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  27. ^ Choe Sang-Hun (March 25, 2020). "Suspect Held in South Korean Crackdown on Sexually Explicit Videos". The New York Times. SEOUL, South Korea.
  28. ^ Laura Bicker (25 March 2020). "Cho Ju-bin: South Korea chatroom sex abuse suspect named after outcry". BBC News.
  29. ^ Min Joo Kim (March 25, 2020). "South Korea identifies suspected leader of sexual blackmail ring after uproar". The Washington Post. Seoul.
  30. ^ SHIN Sua (신수아) (Mar 20, 2020). "Distributing pornography by telegram ... 'Dr. Bang' was caught". MBC News (in Korean).
  31. ^ "I was raped at 14, and the video ended up on a porn site". BBC News. 10 February 2020.
  32. ^ "Call for credit card freeze on porn sites". BBC News. May 8, 2020.
  33. ^ "Pornhub needs to change – or shut down". The Guardian. March 9, 2020.
  34. ^ Dawson, Tyler (May 3, 2020). "Anti-porn activists come after Montreal-based Pornhub". National Post.
  35. ^ "Philippine children exploited in billion-dollar webcam paedophilia industry". The Sydney Morning Herald. July 8, 2014.
  36. ^ "IJM Seeks to End Cybersex Trafficking of Children and #RestartFreedom this Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday". PR Newswire. November 28, 2016.
  37. ^ "Cybersex Trafficking". IJM. 2020.
  38. ^ "Cyber-sex trafficking: A 21st century scourge". CNN. July 18, 2013.

Further reading