Friday, 16 January 2009

Teenage Boys Need Lessons In This…?

Boys could be asked to discuss pornography in class to improve their self-esteem and stop them seeing women as sex objects.

The Family Planning Association is training youth workers to 'support' teenage users of pornographic websites, videos and magazines.
Good luck with that ‘stopping them seeing women as sex objects’..! Still, if people want to waste time trying to buck human nature, who am I to complain?

Oh, wait. We’re paying for this, aren’t we?
The new course, for youth workers from local councils who visit schools, is designed to 'explore the impact and influence of pornography on young people's attitudes to sex, safer sex, their sexual development and relationships'.

But family values campaigners said such ideas were the reason that our teenage pregnancy rate is the highest in Europe, at 40,000 a year.

Julie Bentley, chief executive of the FPA, a government-funded charity, said organisations had to respond to the fact that teenagers are getting the wrong information.
Ah, our old friend, the ‘government-funded charity’…
‘This leaves some girls thinking they can't get pregnant the first time they have sex and gives others unrealistic ideas about how their bodies should look. She added: 'If young people are accessing pornography, it can give them conflicting messages about the reality of sex and relationships and have a negative impact on things like body image and self-esteem.

'The course is designed specifically for professionals delivering sexual health work, giving them the strategies and information to address this difficult and complex issue.'
I would be surprised that despite years of sex education we are still churning out pupils who think they can’t get pregnant the first time, but then I remember that we are still churning out huge numbers of pupils who can’t read, write or add up as well.

And if schools can’t get these basics right, why should we expect them to take over the usual parental role in teaching ‘the facts of life’ correctly?

Well, because it provides work for these people:
Mark Limmer of Lancaster University, who is researching the sexual health of young people, said pornography was reinforcing the views of many young men that women are always available for sex, or that sex was just a physical activity rather than part of a relationship.

'If we are serious about countering some of these images that they see in pornography, we have to give young people more explicit images of sex,' he said.
Reached for comment on the wisdom of this approach, Firemen Cuthbert, Dibble and Grubb paused in their hosing down of a burning building with gasoline, and said ‘Sounds like a good plan to us..! But if you don’t mind, we’re a bit busy. This fire just won’t go out, and we can’t understand why…”
The course, called 'Fantasy v reality: the impact and influence on pornography on young people', was run for the first time in the autumn, training up 12 youth workers. The FPA plans to run another next year.
Just a suggestion, but wouldn’t it be a good idea to evaluate the success of this approach before training more up?

Oh, I was forgetting – this is the government, after all…


Dave H said...

“this leaves some girls thinking ...unrealistic ideas about how their bodies should look”

I can assure you that looking at pornography gives boys unrealistic ideas too.

I’ve found the best way of coping is to compare using metric and imperial units selectively.

North Northwester said...

Well colour me brown, sprinkle me with peanuts and call me Prime Minister.
Can the Government feel some affinity with a particular activity?

Perhaps some bright spark at The Ministry has Googled a certain word present in tags and text of many right-wing blogs, and decided to go to the problem at source...

Stan said...

I had to chuckle at the "can't get pregnant the first time" line. I remember that myth being used when I was at school (along with can't get pregnant if you do it standing up; sitting down; outdoors; after a hot bath). Even back then, without any sex education, we all knew it was bullshit. Thirty years of progressive education and sex talks and kids are still using the same excuses - I find that kind of reassuring in a peculiar way.

JuliaM said...

"I’ve found the best way of coping is to compare using metric and imperial units selectively."

Heh! :)

"I find that kind of reassuring in a peculiar way."

I'm reminded of Jeff Goldblum's quote from 'Jurassic Park': "Nature..finds a way."