Wikipedia:Sexual content

Sexual content includes media depicting actual or simulated sexually explicit conduct involving one or more persons. This includes sexual penetration, non-penetrative sex and masturbation. Partial or total nudity by itself is generally not considered sexual content.

Applicable policies

  • Image use policy - Sexual images, as with all images, must be labeled for copyright status and from where they originally came. In order for an image to be used on Wikipedia, it must either be under a copyleft license, in the public domain, or usable per the non-free content doctrine. Of course, the images must be used in the appropriate context.
  • Photographs of identifiable people - Media hosted at Wikimedia Commons is subject to their photographs of identifiable people policy, a guideline that considers defamation, personality rights, privacy rights, ridicule, unfairly obtained photos, and photos that unreasonably intrude into a subject's private or family life. As sexual photographs could depict private individuals, it is necessary to ensure that any depicted individuals who are identifiable have given permission for their likeness to be used on Wikipedia.

Bad image list

Since the use of sexual content in vandalism is more likely to offend than a more innocuous image, a bad image list (MediaWiki:Bad image list) was created to restrict the usage of certain images. This way, certain shocking images can be used in context in the appropriate article(s), but not spontaneously as an act of vandalism.

A policy on sexual content?

This page has featured two different proposals for an explicitly defined policy on sexual content. Such a policy has been rejected on the grounds that it contradicts long-standing policies such as Wikipedia is not censored and is made redundant by existing policies such as the ones mentioned above. Further, the point has been made that a policy on sexual content relies too much on cultural context, and that an explicit definition of sexual content (such as the one above) may not be sufficient with cultures that have stricter standards of modesty.

See also