Copine scale

The Copine Scale is a rating system used to categorise the severity of pornographic pictures of children. The scale was developed by staff at the COPINE project(Combating Paedophile Information Networks in Europe). The COPINE Project was founded in 1997, and is based in the Department of Applied Psychology, University College Cork, Ireland.

Use of the COPINE scale


The COPINE scale was originally developed for therapeutic psychological purposes. More specifically, it is used to distinguish between child erotica and child pornography. In an article by professor Max Taylor, one of the academics working for the COPINE project, it is stated that: ''[t]he significance of this distinction is to emphasise the potential sexual qualities of a whole range of kinds of photographs (and other material as well) not all of which may meet obscenity criteria' (Taylor et al, 2001: 97).''


The COPINE scale is increasingly used to judge the severity of images that suspects have in their possession. The 5 levels on the scale are considered to be:

1. Images depicting nudity or erotic posing, with no sexual activity Nudist (naked or semi-naked in legitimate settings / sources) Erotica (surreptitious photographs showing underwear/nakedness) Posing (deliberate posing suggesting sexual content) Erotic posing (deliberate sexual or provocative poses) Explicit erotic posing (emphasis on genital area

2. Sexual activity between children, or solo masturbation by a child Explicit sexual activity not involving an adult 3. Non-penetrative sexual activity between adult(s) and child(ren) Assault (sexual assault involving adult)

4. Penetrative sexual activity between child(ren) and adult(s) Gross assault (penetrative assault involving adult) 5. Sadism or bestiality 10 Sadistic / bestiality (sexual images involving pain or animal)

External links

Index: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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