Perceptions of Image-Based Sexual Harassment and Abuse: A Systematic Review

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Gauthier, Emilie
Image-based sexual harassment and abuse , Systematic review , Meta-review , Revenge pornography , Child pornography , Online child sexual exploitation , Sexting , Technology-facilitated sexual violence , Sextortion , Deepfakes , Cyberflashing , Upskirting , Harm reduction , Victim needs , Communicative constructivism , Trauma-informed responses
Image-based sexual harassment and abuse (IBSHA) is a type of sexual violence encompassing various actions such as revenge pornography, child pornography, and many others that use intimate images to inflict harm upon another. This systematic review summarizes 175 works documenting relevant social actors’ perceptions of IBSHA, including police officers, social media platform administrators, offenders, victims, lawyers, judges, educators, activists, and the general public. A communicative constructivist approach is used to analyze and discuss the findings. Other theories applied to the findings include reintegrative shaming, responsive treatment, trauma-informed care and Ten Boom and Kujipers’ (2012) synthesis of victims’ needs. Framed by the context in which the images were produced and distributed, themes such as responsibility attribution, offender motivations, morality, cisheteronormative sexuality, social expectations, and more inform perceptions of IBSHA. Most importantly, findings suggest that some constructions of IBSHA foster negative attitudes towards victim-survivors and spark unfavorable perceptions of formal regulatory responses aimed at addressing IBSHA. Results highlight the need for research, policy-oriented work, and intervention practices seeking to improve the attitudes, responses and resources victims of IBSHA have access to.
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