Men make up the overwhelming majority of those who sexually abuse children, with some research suggesting that they account for more than 90% of child sex offenders. The mass-media, with their sensational presentation of sexual abuse against children, often nurture a stereotypical view of child sex offenders as deviant old men and this has influenced public discourse on the topic. In reality, men who abuse children come from every income bracket, social class and age. Some of these men can be considered paedophiles while others are situational offenders, meaning they do not have a true sexual preference for children but engage in sex with children because the opportunity arises.
As generalisations about the perpetrators of child sexual exploitation can be misleading, ECPAT has developed a number of initiatives to engage the male population in the prevention of CSEC. By ensuring that males are aware of the actions of a small fraction of men, all men and boys can be part of the solution.
ECPAT International’s latest technical journal explores two aspects of the commercial sexual exploitation of children that remain unaddressed: the hidden demand for the commercial sexual exploitation of children and the importance of a protective continuum of care for child victims of sexual exploitation. Download ECPAT's latest journal here.