Sex education should tackle pornography and sexting, says public

Feb 27, 2017 by

by Hannah Ellis-Petersen, Guardian:

Teaching children how to deal with pornography and sexting should be an integral part of sex education, according to the majority of British adults.

A survey found that 75% of those who responded believe that teachers should address the harmful impact of pornography that is easily accessible online, as well as the trend for sending indecent images and explicit messages via text – which has now become “the norm” in schools.

The research, carried out by charity Plan International UK, adds to the increasing pressure on the government to make sex education compulsory in all schools. It is mandatory in local authority-maintained schools, but not in academies and free schools, which make up 65% of secondaries.

Recent research showed that inadequate sex and relationship teaching was already creating a “ticking time bomb” for rates of sexually transmitted diseases in young people.

Plan International’s survey of 2,000 adults revealed that 86% think sexual consent should be part of the curriculum, while 81% think the lessons should cover abuse and violence in relationships.

Plan International UK’s chief executive, Tanya Barron, said it was evident that parents felt sex education in schools should be addressing the impact that technology and the internet were having on children’s exposure to sexual content and online bullying.

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