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UK legislators call on schools to starting teaching kids about porn

The MPs want to address a growing concern that children are 'learning about sex and relationships through exposure to hard-core pornography.'
Fri Sep 16, 2016 - 10:25 am EST
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UNITED KINGDOM, September 16, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Concerned about the dangers of children being increasingly exposed to pornography, a group of British MPs are calling on schools to begin teaching pupils about pornography in the classroom.

The pervasiveness of pornography negatively affects how children — particularly boys — view sex and relationships, the UK Parliament’s Women and Equalities Committee wrote in a report on sexual harassment in schools.

“Children of primary school age [are] learning about sex and relationships through exposure to hard-core pornography,” the report found. The Women and Equalities Committee’s inquiry found that thanks to pornography, adolescent boys have difficulty understanding that it’s not normal for girls to cry during sex, making it harder for them to understand consent or lack thereof. Pornography is part of why young girls are pressured to become heavily sexualized, why some girls do not understand “the option to say no,” and why youth feel “pressured to act more sexually,” the report said.

Teachers reported that it’s common for pupils to view pornography at school during break times. The report indicates that the UK sex education program Big Talk Education has seen an “increase [in] referrals to us for children and young teenagers with pornography addictions” including “one girl aged only eight.” This is “a new and increasing area of work” for Big Talk Education.

The report also found that many youth think pornography functions as a way for them to learn “how to have sex.” This could be one of the reasons why pornography leads men to hold unrealistic and degrading expectations of women.

The proposed solution to some of these problems is teaching children about pornography to “help them to make sense of it and to differentiate between what they see online and what a healthy relationship might look like with clear, comprehensive, age-appropriate conversations.”

“The Government should immediately update its guidance on SRE [Sex and Relationship Education] to include teaching about pornography,” the report recommended. “The new guidance should offer advice to schools about how to approach this topic in an age-appropriate way. It should also include suggestions of how schools can work in partnership with parents to address the impact of pornography on children’s perceptions of sex, relationships and consent.”

The report welcomed “the Government’s forthcoming legislation for age verification of pornographic websites,” but argued “age verification legislation will only contribute to reducing sexual harassment and sexual violence in conjunction with the other recommendations made throughout this report,” like teaching about pornography in schools.

More than three-quarters of teachers surveyed “said pupils should be taught about the dangers of pornography.”


  pornography, sex education, united kingdom

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