TV Presenter Suggests Pornography in Lieu of Sex Education by

TV Presenter Suggests Pornography in Lieu of Sex Education

Posted on Thursday, October 13th, 2016


U.K. Radio 4 presenter Dame Jenni Murray suggested a controversial alternative to traditional sex education: “Why not show them pornography and teach them how to analyse it?”

Pornography consumption among young adults is rising. One study finds that viewership has increased over birth generations while opinions about its legality remains the same. Wendy Maltz on the Psychology Networker describes pornography as having a drug-like effect on the mind and body, since it triggers the production of dopamine and creates addiction problems. She goes on to describe hardcore content as a public health and encourages “society to be alert to the problems.”

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I see a great need for parents, teachers, employers, clergy, healthcare workers, law enforcers, and therapists to start addressing pornography problems with the same kind of shame-free directness with which we’ve learned to tackle other public health concerns, such as cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, domestic violence, and drug abuse.

But could the failure of sex education contribute to the rise of porn? One study points out that teenagers worldwide hate their sexual health curriculum. In a New York Times article penned by Peggy Orenstein, the writer starts out with a correspondence she has with a 21-year old female who turns to pornography for learning about sex. Orenstein furthermore compares the American approach to the Dutch, referencing a 2010 study by The International Journal of Sexual Health that finds stark differences between virginity rates and the number of sexual partners. The Dutch are more open and positive about sexual health (focusing on pleasure and communication), while Americans prefer focusing on the negative effects (STDs, pregnancy, abstinence or complete avoidance about the topic). Also, 2006 pornography revenue is minuscule in comparison with other markets (source).

Maybe Dame Jenni Murray talks a valid solution. She advocates analyzing pornography similar to how students treat literature in school. The presenter thinks the “Jane Austen” approach to sex would make a good approach in schools and combat the growing “porn culture” that’s affecting adolescent views about sex.


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