Why Pornography Should Be Introduced and Critiqued In Sex Education Programming At All School Levels

The phrase love that dare not speak it’s name was coined by Lord Alfred Douglas. It first appeared in his poem, “Two Loves,” printed (in the Chameleon) in 1896. It’s a reference to homosexual love, in Lord Alfred’s case, of Oscar Wilde, who was subsequently charged with gross indecency. Homosexuality was a criminal offense in England and just about everywhere else in the 19th century. Today, there is another sexual outlet not so much forbidden as not addressed in polite or other society – a new form of love the name of which sex educators dare not speak: pornography.

This is most unfortunate: a new study suggests that while parents may not be aware of the fact, pornography is the leading sex educator of the young. Alas, the porn industry has no interest in serving a sex education function and certainly does not do so, at least not in a positive, constructive or healthy fashion.

Porn is pervasive, particularly where it is most highly censored. China, for example, is the world’s leading consumer of porn. Jerry Ropelato, author of “Internet Pornography Statistics” at the research website Top Ten Reviews, notes that $3,075.64 is spent on pornography every second of every day. In this one-second period, 28,258 internet users are viewing pornography and 372 internet users are typing adult search terms into search engines. Two of the top twenty search terms are teen sex and teen porn. The pornography industry has larger revenues than Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo, Apple and Netflix combined. Data from 2006 reported worldwide pornography revenues at $97.06 billion.

Australian researchers David Corlett and Maree Crabbe filmed 140 interviews with young people in what was called “The Reality and Risk Research Project.” They discovered that teens are increasingly turning to the net for sex education. (Source: Denise Ryan, “Teachers urged to address porn factor,” The Australian Age, February 13, 2012.) Porn sex education exerts a destructive influence in the lives of the young. One of the investigators said, “Every young person we interviewed told us that pornography is a significant part of youth culture and particularly of young men’s lives.” She added, “Pornography has become harder, rougher, more hardcore.”

Porn, as you might expect, does not commonly offer instruction in matters relevant to conventional sex education (e.g., the nature of contraception, the prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, the value of intimacy, principles of effective relationships). On the contrary, what it inadvertently communicates to young men, according to “The Project” research group, is reckless, coercive and abusive treatment of women. There is an absence of realistic perspectives and a dearth of respectful treatment of sexual partners. In addition, sexual practices of an unsafe nature are commonplace. While informed adults may have the maturity to manage such depictions, teens with little or, more often, no sexual experience clearly do not.

Since parents usually cannot keep porn from being accessed one way or another or one time or other by their children, the more likely best strategy is to include porn awareness in sex ed instruction. This is the focus of efforts by “The Project” team. Several grants have provided the resources to prepare and test programs for use in training sex education teachers for varied school grade levels. While teachers need skills to address this issue, teens need exposure to effective critiques of pornography’s representations of gender and sex. Among the objectives of the Project team is to develop teaching materials that present diverse scenarios for classroom discussions that will enable young adults to distinguish between what they see depicted in porn and reality.

The overwhelming majority of parents believe their child has never seen pornography. However, a 2003 Australia Institute investigation citied in the Australian Age article cited above reported that 84 per cent of boys and 60 per cent of girls had access to sex sites on the internet. A 2006 Australian study of youths aged 13 to 16 found that 92 per cent of boys and 61 per cent of girls had been exposed to pornography online.

Of course, Republicans in this country might favor a simpler solution: Pass new laws banning pornography or otherwise make it nearly impossible for young people to gain access to it. Given the widespread availability of social media of all kinds in the wired culture of our age, a reliance on censorship does not seem promising (not to dwell on the consistency of such a Draconian tactic with that troublesome First Amendment in America). Good luck cutting off porn – shy of creating a police state. Better sex education is cheaper and quicker, more likely and better suited to personal liberties and sound education.

Everyone, including the young, needs a broad set of knowledge and critical thinking skills to reject a sexuality that eroticises degradation and violence, glorifies unrealistic body types (particularly large breasts and out-sized penises) and undermines relationship elements founded on respect, courtesy and the common decencies.

It is hard enough in the current climate of Right Wing evangelical Republican culture war wedge politics to gain acceptance for sex ed of any kind, let alone adding porn assessment to the mix. If a school board or individual educator in this country tried to address pornography, he or she would be cited by Santorum, Romney or Gingrich as an example of what’s wrong with Obamacare. Try dealing with this crisis only if willing to deal with a firestorm of controversy from the Right.

Yet, all evidence and the lessons from Prohibition and the Comstock era suggest that ignoring or trying to repress the pervasiveness of pornography as it affects youthful sexual expectations and behavior is pernicious and irresponsible.

In my view, we need to make clear as part of sex ed that porn has nothing to do with love. We dare not NOT speak its name – and dare NOT ignore the reality of pornography’s dreadful influence on the sexual miseducation of the young. If this upsets Republicans, well, that’s just too bad. If they had enjoyed better sex education, they might be more sensible about such things – and probably less interested in porn, as well.

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Keep Away Pornography From Homes

With the advent of the internet, there is much unwanted adult content and pornography. These materials have grave negative implications for children, parents, spouses, and the family at large. Previously, matters of sex were relegated to the bedroom and brothels. People shied away from discussing or displaying sexual passion in public. Today, unwanted adult content is readily accessible, even through mobile phones.

Society should be apprehensive when unwanted online adult content and pornography falls into the hands of children. While it is a fact that children will, at one stage in their lives, come to comprehend sex, it is the nature and age of orientation that are perturbing. Sex is pleasurable and addictive to some extent. However, this is not what we desire for human beings in their formative years to embrace. Every person undergoes a systematic developmental process and sex has its moment, which is definitely not childhood. We need to allow children to enjoy their innocence, and to grow naturally into adulthood.

Unwanted online adult content and pornography may appear to the casual eye as being beneficial to couples, but that is far from the reality. It is factual that couples can learn several techniques on how to give one another pleasure when having sexual intercourse, after they watch this kind of content. However, adult material is likely to foment discontent in marriages or relationships since either or both of the partners may develop unrealistic sexual expectation from the other. It should always be borne in mind that the people portrayed in pornography videos are actually actors, who are trained to exaggerate the acts and effects of sex. Couples trying this at home will only be disillusioned, and may resort to infidelity in search of elusive sexual pleasure. Pornography may destroy marriage instead of building it.

Unwanted online adult content and pornography are also destroying the moral fabric of the society since they defy and negate all the societal and cultural norms that people have learnt to live with. Few people can argue with the notion that religion and society bring order and harmony in a community. Allowing online adult content into our homes is to disorient the manner in which any society operates. Unless such stuff is monitored and restricted, we risk having a society in which the young and the elderly do not respect one another, and where the inviolability of marriage and the honor of the family are disregarded.

Can Pornography Blocking Software Rescue Our Kids From the Internet’s Dark Side?

The trend of more kids gaining access to porn sites should not surprise or even alarm you. What should alarm you is the number of parents who are doing nothing to stop this growing trend. It is not our kids who should be blamed that the search term “porn” is the sixth most searched keyword out of one hundred keywords used by kids. There are other terms you would think kids would be using, that are more geared towards kids, that rank higher than porn does. There are at least ten other keywords, all related to something sexual, that run from number four all the way up to number ninety-five. So sexually-related content is mixed all throughout kids’ internet searches. Nine out of ten kids have seen porn online, even by mistake. This can happen while they are just doing their homework. How can you put up with this? Are you going to be among the group of parents who just stand by and let it happen? Or are you going to be one of the action-oriented parents who are doing something to put a pornography block on our computers to prevent this exposure to our kids?

The best line of defense with this issue is by using some sort of internet filter or similar pornography blocking software. The choice of pornography blocking software is numerous, and all claim to be able to keep porn sites from in front of your kid’s eyes. And the newer the software, the greater the technology and therefore the greater the ability to do just that. More and more, the ability to decide what your kids see are in your hands and in your control. You get to decide what is important for your kids to gain access to, and what is harmful or unhealthy to their growing into respectable and responsible adults.

For pornography blocking software, you can take one of three possible routes to achieve what you want, and each are dependent upon your computer usage and set up. The first kind of pornography block uses its filter settings to piggyback what you have already set up on your Windows-based system, and is ideal if you have multiple users on one computer, each with their own account and login. The second pornography block is what is called “program specific” and goes after…well, it goes after a program specific approach. The third type of pornography block will be customizable and uses both of the previous two types, Windows-based, multiple-user login and program specific, in its approach. You will have to determine, based on your own set up and needs, which of the three types will best suit your situation.

You will find that one of the most common features of pornography blocking software is its ability to categorize Internet usage for site blocking purposes. You will get more categories depending on the software you purchase. Obviously, the more categories you can specify, the more effective control you will gain. Most software will use either a database built right into its software, or an online database, that contains lists of sites known for their objectionable content. The software will then compare the site you are trying to access with what is in its database, and decide whether you can pass on in or get shut out. If the site is not in the database, you should at least be able to manually allow access or not.

There is no easy, one-size-fits-all solution to the problem of blocking porn and questionable sites from your children. With the rapid growth of porn sites, it is hard to keep up with and the software you get today may not be effective next week. But, just getting a pornography blocking software is a step in the right direction. You have to admit that this is better than doing nothing at all. Now, if you can find a software program that updates itself to include the most recent additions to the world of filth and garbage, then you are truly taking action to protect your kids. We as a world look forward to seeing your responsible children when they enter the adult world, ready with healthy minds to take action to protect their kids from pornography and questionable material.

Is a Pornography Addiction a Big Deal?

There are many wide ranging views on pornography, not to mention a pornography addiction. Some people view all pornography as an illness while others feel that it’s really nobody’s concern what you view in your own home. In order to meet the standard criteria set forth to qualify as an addiction, one would have to say that if the user can’t go without watching their pornography, there is a problem.

One of the biggest problems with ignoring a pornography addiction is that it can lead to more severe behaviors. It’s not that big of a step from the chronic use of porn to heightening the level of the high by heightening the seriousness of the pornography. This can lead to moving onto sadistic and child pornography and then into things like snuff films. All of these are highly illegal and can certainly be considered immoral even by those who support the use of adult pornography.

Many pornography addicts move toward sexual addiction. While it’s not true for all individuals who are thoroughly addicted to pornography, there is a link between escalating behaviors and escalating pornography preferences.

The chronic use of pornography is not just a men’s disease. There are plenty of women addicts who fly under the radar because they are women. Most people, even some professionals, have a strong gender bias when it comes to women and their use of pornography.

Regardless of where you stand on the issue itself, any behavior that interferes with normal relationships, family time, and work related issues is problematic. Many addicts choose to use the late night hours when the household is asleep before they delve into serious pornography. This allows them privacy. Privacy is the first step to hiding the frequency as well as the content of the pornography of choice.

It can be difficult to recognize the signs when you have a rather open mind on the issue. If you feel there is nothing wrong with watching the material, it may be much harder for you to be able to recognize the symptoms of an actual addiction.

Getting help for an addiction to pornography is vital. This is generally not an addiction that can be handled on one’s own because access is so incredibly easy. It may not seem like it, but to an addict of pornography even suggestive television can prompt urges. It is within everyone’s best interest that an addict receives intervention counseling as soon as possible. The loss of family, friends, and livelihood can depend on how early treatment is sought and accepted.