Internet pornography 'poor' provider of sex education

Australian educator Maree Crabbe highlights the need for positive educational messages about relationships and sexuality. Photo: Gregor Richardson
Australian educator Maree Crabbe highlights the need for positive educational messages about relationships and sexuality. Photo: Gregor Richardson
Healthy human relationships and sexuality are too important to allow pornography to become the ''default'' provider of sex education, Australian educator Maree Crabbe says.

Ms Crabbe, who lives in rural Victoria, will today offer a training day in Dunedin, on ''Sex ed by porn? Pornography and its impact on youth''.

Relationships and sexuality were ''really important'' and were a ''normal and healthy'' part of life, she said in an interview.

Many people did not realise how extensive and aggressive internet pornography was, and that an estimated third of overall internet use involved it.

One study had shown that more than 90% of boys, aged 13 to 16, had seen pornography, as had more than 60% of girls, and 88% of scenes from the most popular porn included ''physical aggression''.

Internet pornography was a ''poor and problematic'' sex educator.

''We can't afford to leave young people's sex education to the porn industry,'' she said.

Efforts should continue to limit viewing of pornography by young people, but other ''multiple strategies'' would also be needed.

They included helping older people realise how accessible pornography was in influencing young people's sexual expectations and behaviour.

She also sought to educate people who supported youth to ensure they could ''help adolescents work through, and critically analyse the messages porn presents.''

Today's one-day conference aimed to support those who work with young people in a social service, or through primary prevention, counselling, youth justice, family violence, police, academic research, and those with a mental health perspective.

john.gibb@odt.co.nz

Comments

More PC talk ....Porn is a silly fad....and should be treated as such unreal....Are we allowed to look at the TV at all

Well the sex education system is also failing them.

 

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