On-line porn overtakes sex education in schools

Created on: 24th May 2013

School sex education is struggling to keep pace with online porn, a study suggests that children are only two clicks away from violent and sadistic pornographic imagery online.

The report compiled by University of Middlesex and commissioned by the Office of The Children’s Commissioner, suggests some children are exposed to pornography while still at primary school level, and the proportion increases with age with “a significant proportion of children and young people” viewing pornography.

Urgent action is needed to develop children’s resilience to extremely graphic types of porn. The report indicates that porn can affect attitudes and behaviour among children and young people. It can lead to more sexually permissive attitudes, more casual sex, sex at a younger age, and the belief that women are sex objects with males dominant and females submissive.

Deputy Children’s Commissioner Sue Berelowitz added that pornography has the destructive ability to distort children’s attitudes to sex.

The curriculum changes by Government are said to teach children from the age of five to stay safe online. Lessons on sex education should start in primary school, while relationships and sex education should be compulsory in all schools and include time for pupils to discuss the impact of pornography.

The findings of the report are based on interviews with young people in England, plus analysis of 276 previous academic papers on young people and pornography. The report urges all the Department of Education to ensure that all schools, including private schools, faith schools, colleges and academies, “deliver effective relationship and sex education.”

The report also provides evidence that young people are not satisfied with the sex education they are receiving and “increasingly” draw on pornography for education and information on sexual practices. 

The authors of the report say that sex education curriculum needs to be more relevant to young people’s lives and needs to include pornography.  They also call for more emphasis on relationship education in secondary schools.

“We think it’s really important that the curriculum includes pornography to help build children’s resilience to what they are seeing on the internet- to help them differentiate between what they are seeing and good healthy relationships which are not about submission and not about being forced,” said Ms Berelowitz.

She also added that parents should play more of an active role in educating their children and should recognise the effects that pornography will have on their children.
The Way urges parents to pay close attention to their children’s activity online and on their phones, they should play an active role in shielding their children from the harms of pornography by using internet safety providers.

The UK Council for Child Internet Safety is already working with internet service providers to make it easier for parents to protect their children from harmful material online.

Netmums have called the report a wake up call. “The consequences of young kids viewing horrific porn are only just becoming apparent with sex attacks by underage kids doubling in some areas in just 12 months and kids as young as five being assaulted.”

Posted by Amanda Hopkins

Extract from www.bbc.co.uk

Your Comments

posted by Lynnette Smith on 04-06-13

If you want to see an axample of how this can be addressed, providing protection for children and building resilience in Teenagers, in a range of faith schools etc check out: "Pornography across the curriculum: A week in the life of a sex educator" www.bigtalkeducation.co.uk/latest-news/item/98-pornography-across-the-sex-ed-curriculum.html


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