Image-based sexual abuse: online distribution channels and illicit communities of support

Nicola Henry, Asher Flynn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


This article investigates the nature and scope of image-based sexual abuse (IBSA) material on 77 high-volume online websites. On the majority of these sites, users appeared to be motivated by sexual gratification and proving masculinity to a sexually deviant peer network, rather than revenge against the person depicted in the image. We argue that nonconsensual image exchanges are contextualized within ever-expanding digital environments, characterized by dislocation of time and space, overvisualization, and hypersexuality. We argue that IBSA is a vehicle for the construction, performativity, and negotiation of hypermasculinity and heteronormativity, within the bounds and structures of existing gendered power relations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1932-1955
Number of pages24
JournalViolence Against Women
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jul 2019


  • image-based sexual abuse
  • image-based abuse
  • revenge pornography
  • deviancy
  • Online behaviour

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