Young people are talking more about sex than ever before. The pressure to have sex is increasing and we are still fumbling around when providing children and young people with the facts and emotional content of sex and relationship education (SRE) within schools. Even David Cameron has admitted sex education needs to be updated! However, all this leads to young people finding out about sex and relationships for themselves – HOW? Yes, you have guessed it … The Internet.
Hysteria is often caused when thinking of young people using the internet to learn and sex and relationships, mainly due to the viewing of porn.
FACT: 81% of 14-16 year olds have look at porn on the Internet (Psychologies Magazine, 2010).
FACT: 87% of young men and 31% of young women agree that viewing porn is acceptable (Journal of Adolescent Research, 2008).
Due to the statistics and what we know to be true already is it not better that instead of resisting the Internet and all that comes with it that we start teaching children and young people to use the Internet in an intelligent way? We need to point out that porn is a heightened form of sex and that it is not equivalent to real life. Sex via porn resembles as much too real sex as an action movie does to real life. So my question is … how can we divert away from porn and give children and young people the information they need so they don’t use pornographic material as a form of sex education?
It is simple … Provide young people with the effective SRE that they need and want. If we don’t they will just continue to use the Internet the way they are doing already. There has never been a better time for change – Parents need to talk to their children about sexual matters, and the government need to up there game and ensure good sex education is given in all schools, with the involvement of parents. Experts in sex education talk about this all the time, but when are we going to make the changes? The top and bottom of it is that children and young people are not going to stop using the Internet to learn, so we need to get with the program and give them the information they need and want. We need to make sure all the information is out there so they don’t feel that porn is the way to learn about sex. There are a lot of good websites that give young people the correct information about SRE and we should monopolise upon this instead of crushing the Internet for the great learning resource that is it.Learn more »