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Plague of porn is turning teen heads


Parents debate on giving sex education to their kids at school and kids are learning a lot from another source like  the Internet and pornographic Web sites.

Plague of porn is turning teen headsSylvia Patterson

THE SPOUSES of cabinet ministers have not been the only ones watching endless pornography for nothing. The nation’s teenagers have been at it too. Or so found Channel 4’s investigative special The Sex Education Show Vs Pornography, which is presented by Anna Richardson, below, and last week brought us frankly knee-trembling facts.

With graphic internet pornography now one word, one second and no money away (where as far back as, ooh, 2002 you still had to pay for most of it), it’s perhaps not so surprising that the average teenager watches 90 minutes of porn a week. But what truly boggles is that the average age of a first-time viewer, both accidentally and deliberately, is 11 years old.

Equally alarming, though, was the teenagers’ belief that they were “learning” about sex from porn. What they are learning is that porn is the new reality, while real reality is now abhorrent, especially concerning girls’ bodies.

After polling and then interviewing 400 English school pupils aged 14-17, the programme found that both boys and girls greet real-life bodies and photographs of normal, wonky women’s boobs and genitalia with a resounding “bleeeeurgh!” while only fake boobs, hairless crotches and “trimmed” genitalia are considered desirable and “perfect”. And these porn-standard fantasies are now what both boys and girls expect and demand.

Most of the girls removed their pubic hair completely (“the full Hollywood”). While one boy declared that, should he ever be confronted with nature’s pesky “labial flaps”, he would expect the girl to “have ’em cut off”. And the girls dutifully agreed, saying this is how they wished to biologically present themselves, “because that’s what boys like”. And you think, as you scoop your jaw up from the floor: “We fought the feminist wars for this?”

Never mind the sex education: where, you wonder, are today’s youth getting their education from? We girls who grew up in the 1980s seem, now, like balaclava-wearing radicals. Our education came less from school than from the then ideologically vibrant culture. As well as from music, literature, art, film, our knowledge was supplied by the social-sexual pioneers: from Susie Orbach to Julie Burchill to Madonna – women who were, themselves, buoyed by what The Sisterhood had achieved throughout the 1960s and 1970s “revolution”.

Now that many of us are mums and aunties to this bewildering new generation, surely it’s time to reassert the rules of engagement. Boys, via constantly available pornography, might be slightly insecure about the size of the commotion in their ever-descending trousers but that is nothing new. What’s definitely new is the attitude that sex is predominantly for boys’ gratification and the girls are fully complicit, among a generation transfixed by the globally dominant pornographic standard of ever-ready smiling women “servicing” headless men.

The internet porn genie is not, of course, about to go back in the bottle so the need now is for counter-balance weight on the other side of the cultural scale. The Sex Education Show’s current campaign, Protect Kids From Porn, might be urgent and well-meaning. Lobbying computer manufacturers to create in-built adult-content filters to protect the kids at home is all very well. However, computers are everywhere, not least inside children’s mobile phones.

The safest bet of all, surely, is dialogue – the kind of adult-to-teenager dialogue that takes in responsibility, dignity, self-esteem, emotional involvement and, crucially, engages the brain.

Something not discussed, in the case of the girls specifically, was the concept of knowing what merciless, predatory, sexual cavaliers boys (and young men) can be, boys who will have sex, after all, with an actual plastic doll and any other vessel they can pour their relentlessly tempestuous libido into.

Meanwhile, with last week’s uprising in London recalling the protests of the 1970s and 1980s, perhaps the full spectrum of youthful ideology is finally on its natural way back. It would be a start, certainly, towards the shape of better things to come: as opposed to a generation obsessed with nothing more than the shape of the contents of its unseemly adolescent breeks.

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April 11, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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