Hilary White

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Porn may be only place gay youth see gay sex portrayed ‘positively’: UK ‘sex health’ charity head

Hilary White
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LONDON, August 26, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – One of Britain’s largest government-sponsored youth “sexual health” charities and strongest promoters of abortion, artificial contraception and homosexuality, has expressed doubts about government plans to provide optional blockers to internet porn, saying that young people can sometimes only get the sex education they need via porn.

Brook’s Chief Executive, Simon Blake, wrote in the homosexual newspaper PinkNews last week that while online porn is “inadequate” as sex ed for homosexuals youth, it could be seen as better than nothing.

It “is clearly not good enough, and has to change,” Blake wrote. “It is our shared responsibility to ensure pornography is not their first, only or main source of information.” But until the current “woefully inadequate” school Sex and Relationships Education programs are made more gay inclusive, porn can be “one of the first places they see their sexuality represented positively or that they learn about same-sex relationships," he said. 

Blake shared the story of a boy named “Tom” who explained how finding gay porn “‘was something of a comfort’ for him."

"As a young gay man who had been brought up in a place where sexuality wasn’t discussed it helped him realise he wasn’t ‘some sort of a freak’.” 

Blake expressed “disappointment” that the Department of Education has refused to make sex education mandatory.

“Young people tell us that internet filters may work up to a point, but there are problems. In their view, it is more important to provide SRE that is inclusive of all sexualities and genders, teaches critical media literacy, and provides a safe space to ask questions and get advice about things they are concerned about,” Blake added.

In June 2011, Blake was awarded an OBE for “services to the voluntary sector and young people” in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List and worked at the National Children’s Bureau as Assistant Director of Children’s Development and Director of the Sex Education Forum. In 2004 he was seconded to the Department of Health as an advisor on children’s public health. He describes Brook’s work as enabling “young people to enjoy their sexuality without harm”. 

About whether the government should go forward with its porn filter plans, Blake wrote, “I reserve judgment at this stage. The devil is in the detail. But I am concerned.” 

He concluded that while he doesn't want youth learning about sex from porn, "because their education system failed them," he is also concerned, "for the thousands of ‘Toms’ whose access to information about sex and sexuality might be restricted in future.” 

The article was released in response to a submission paper by the Children’s Commissioner for England, which also expressed doubts as to the wisdom of shielding children and teenagers from online porn.

“There is some emerging evidence indicating that young people are dissatisfied with the sex education they are receiving [in schools] and that they are increasingly drawing on pornography, expecting it to educate and give information regarding sexual practices and norms,” the submission paper said.

It said that while there is a “reasonable amount of research that links exposure to pornography with aggressive behaviour,” more research needs to be done on the exact nature of online porn and what its effects on children are, saying what there is, “is limited in its interpretive value”. 

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The paper admitted that children were being harmed by easy access to internet pornography, saying that in a large survey of British children, they “had frequent accounts of both girls’ and boys’ expectations of sex being drawn from pornography they had seen; and professionals told us troubling stories of the extent to which teenagers and younger children routinely access pornography, including extreme and violent images.” 

They said that in a survey, they obtained “incontrovertible evidence that, between August 2010 and October 2011, at least 2,409 children were victims of sexual exploitation,” including rape. They noted that in one case, that became notorious in the British press, the perpetrators told police that their crime had been “like being in a porn movie”. 

“We also found compelling evidence that too many boys believe that they have an absolute entitlement to sex at any time, in any place, in any way and with whomever they wish. Equally worryingly, we heard that too often girls feel they have no alternative but to submit to boys’ demands, regardless of their own wishes.” 

Among their research findings was that “young people who used pornography were more likely to report having had anal sex, sex with multiple partners and using alcohol and drugs during sex.”

Nevertheless, they said, “much more work needs to be done before definitive statements can be made about causal links between the use of pornography and perpetrators going on to commit sexual abuse or exploitation.” 

“Much current discourse is asserted without a clear evidence base or is inferred from what is believed to be available on pornographic websites,” it said, adding, “Different and subjective definitions of pornography complicate the issue.” 

One of their findings was that “We do not know exactly what children and young people are being exposed to or what they are accessing.” They added, “Few studies have looked in detail at the content of pornography or specifically examined what children and young people are exposed to online.”

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