Children should be taught about porn on the net. A statement of the bleeding obvious, one might have thought – but not to Michael Gove.
NSPCC ‘research’* commissioned by The Telegraph claims to show that in the absence of meaningful sex education in schools, the internet is ‘warping’ young people’s views about relationships. Backlash agrees the internet is certainly influencing them, and both parental and school advice is essential.
Sadly the NSPCC spokesperson who said ‘What pornography teaches boys is that girls are for sexual gratification’ obviously hasn’t seen any FemDomme material.
And despite the soundbites beloved by headline writers such as ‘Many girls feel they have to look and perform like porn stars in order to be liked by boys’ are uttered by the NSPCC not children, this initiative is to be welcomed.
The Telegraph enlisted the support of Claire Perry, Conservative MP and the Prime Minister’s advisor on children, and a moving force in banning everything in sight.
Amusingly she displays her class privilege. ‘Teenage girls now routinely remove all of their body hair saying that boys their age find pubic hair ‘disgusting’ (a fact that I find particularly depressing as a mother of teenagers – we did not try to raise our children to think like John Ruskin)’ is a reference that will go over the heads of 90% of parents. True, Oxford educated Gove will get it.
Perry also betrays her real disciplinary preferences. ‘Regulation and technology can never be the complete answer in such a fast moving and borderless world, and so we need to make sure that parents and children are well educated about the potential risks lurking online and how to avoid them’.
Interpreted, that says ‘we don’t trust parents, we’d ban porn if we could make banning work; freedom of expression is not suitable for most people’.
Nonetheless, her statement ‘the rise of sexting, online bullying, porn and young people documenting their entire lives on the web, needs to be a core tenet of how we teach sex and relationships to children’ is unarguably valid. Perry deserves credit for saying so, and for trying to do something about it.
Asks the relentless Telegraph, Mr Gove, why do you want to omit sexual health from the national curriculum?
* Backlash may comment further when we have analysed this research properly