Womens Support Project

Grooming and sexualisation

We have developed short information booklets on different aspects of sexual exploitation. These are not aimed at young people but at parents and workers who should find them useful for background reading and for supporting discussion with young people.

NB We do not have printed copies at present, but are seeking funding for this. If you are able to access funding for producing a customised copy for your area please email lindawsproject@btconnect.com


What is grooming?
‘Grooming’ is the behaviours used by predators to target and prepare children and young people (CYP) for sexual abuse and sexual exploitation. One of the problems for professionals and parents is that the signs that a person is grooming a child may be subtle and difficult to recognise. Initially a CYP may not recognise they are being groomed and may see these relationships as positive.

Download the Grooming Information Pack (pdf - 1.3mb).


What is pornification?
“Pornification is the way in which the aesthetics and explicitness of pornography infiltrate mainstream culture.” 
‘Everyday Pornography’ by Karen Boyle, Routledge UK July 2010

Pornification happens when references, messages, ideas and images from pornography have moved into our entertainment, media and mainstream culture. It is not just an increase in sexual images and references but a growing emphasis on really narrow ideas of what a sexual women is and should be.

Download the Pornification Information Pack (pdf - 1.5mb)


What is Sexting?
Sexting is sending sexually explicit messages via mobile phone, email, web chat, social networking sites, Bluetooth or instant messenger. To put it simply Sexting = sex + texting.

Download the Sexting Information Pack (pdf - 1.3mb)

Sexual Exploitation

What is sexual exploitation
The sexual exploitation of children and young people under 18 is a form of child sexual abuse. The term sexual exploitation takes account of the new ways that CYP are groomed and tricked into sex.

Download the Sexual Exploitation Informaion Pack (pdf - 1.4mb)


What is sexualisation?
In 2007 the American Psychological Association (APA) carried out an extensive review of the impact of sexualisation on young girls. The APA`s taskforce provides the following definition of sexualisation as occurring when:

  • a person`s value comes only from his or her sexual appeal or behaviour, to the exclusion of other characteristics
  • a person is held to a standard that equates physical attractiveness with being sexy
  • a person is sexually objectified and made into a thing for others` sexual use rather than seen as a person with the capacity for independent action and decision making
  • sexuality is inappropriately imposed upon a person.

Download the Sexualisation Information Pack (pdf - 1.8mb)


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