“What I am proposing is that we reinvent sex education in the classroom. Rather than focusing on the technical disease-related or biological aspects of sex, we should also use this platform to discuss and show other phenomena, such as pornography, taught by trained teachers, so that young people can develop a critical approach to what they are seeing.”For background, read Education Experts Say Use Porn in Teaching Sex Ed
-- Professor Christian Graugaard
-- From "Show Pornography in Schools, Urges Danish Sexology Professor" by Felicity Capon, Newsweek 3/3/15
Professor Christian Graugaard, a sexology professor at Aalborg University in Denmark, was speaking to the Danish television broadcaster DR when he made the comments. He believes that pupils aged 13 and above should be able to view and discuss pornographic images and literature as part of sex education classes.
Research conducted in the Nordic countries suggests that young people encounter pornography online when they are in their early teens, with studies showing that up to 99% of teenage boys and 86% of teenage girls in the Nordic countries have seen some pornography.
Professor Graugaard says the reaction to his proposal has been positive, with many teachers and pupils supporting his views. The broadcaster DR spoke to several pupils at different schools to gauge their reactions, and were, according to Graugaard, “very much in favour”.
"I think you could get something out of it – for example the difference between real love between two people who have sex and hard porn and orgies from the US," ninth grade student Anders Kaagaard told DR.
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From "Porn belongs in the classroom, says Danish professor" by Helen Russell in Aarhus, UK Guardian 3/15/15
“My proposal is to critically discuss pornography with 8th and 9th graders [age 15 – the legal age of consent in Denmark – and 16 respectively] as part of a sensible didactic strategy, carried out by trained teachers,” [Graugaard] told the Guardian.
“We should strengthen their ability to distinguish between the media’s depictions of the body and sex and the everyday life of an average teenager. They should become conscientious and critical consumers.
“Porn may actually offer a variety of both entertaining and educational properties,” Graugaard said. “Porn can even be feminist and in some cases it can be part of a democratisation of sex and [it can] promote diversity. But it can also be excluding – of body types, gender and sexuality. We want our kids to have exciting and gratifying sex lives, so an open-minded, constructive dialogue is the best way to make sure that they are able to make meaningful decisions for themselves.”
A similar scheme was suggested in the UK in 2014 when sexual health charity Brook, the PSHE Association and the Sex Education Forum issued new guidelines for sex education in schools including discussion about the dangers of “sexting” and X-rated films.
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From "Sex education without porn is not sex education" by Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett, UK Guardian 3/17/15
It’s a shame that porn in the classroom would be such a source of controversy in Britain. It is a progressive move that would only catch on if the nation were to undergo a wholesale sexual shame transplant. Nevertheless, we can fantasise. Wouldn’t it be marvellous if the buttoned-up British could transform overnight into a liberated mass of laid-back, well-adjusted Euro-shaggers who have grown up in households that are comfortable with nudity?
Were society to discuss porn openly and critically, our children would be better adjusted, and our sex lives would, in all likelihood, be more fulfilled. There are those who doubt the anecdotal evidence of what young men and women have been telling researchers over the years: that porn is affecting their sexual relationships in myriad disturbing and distressing ways.
It is time we wake up to the fact that a sex education curriculum that does not include porn is not a sex education curriculum, and furthermore is one that is failing in its safeguarding duty. Because better discussion of porn and consent is vital when set against a backdrop of child sexual exploitation.
To read the entire opinion column above, CLICK HERE.
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