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Porn, phones, sexual abuse: a head’s tale

Another call for education about sex to counter porn. “We need to reclaim sex. At best sex should be about love and commitment. They are beginning to have trusted, candid conversations and we want to keep that going.”

The Times. June 21, 2021. Read more.


Porn, she believes, is the biggest contributor to rape culture. “We haven’t talked enough about it as a country. In the past we used to look at the 19th century and say, ‘How could they give gin to their babies?’ I think we will say the same about this technology in 40 years’ time: ‘How could we have allowed children access to such graphic, disturbing material?’

“There are pre-teens accessing porn. We should absolutely have a paywall, that would be a deterrent. It’s impossible to verify age, but there has to be international consensus. When I was young porn was on the top shelf; you paid for it in money and also a little bit in terms of embarrassment.

“Now it’s far more extreme, violent, bizarre and graphic than a glimpse of a boob in a magazine, and it’s addictive; every time, you need a little bit more to get your kick. There is a terrible physiological impact on too much porn for boys. We talk to our pupils about this.”

The danger, she admits, is that a whole generation could be put off sex. “My son said, ‘Mum, the world must be peopled and yet we are all terrified now.’ We need to help them to find a way through. Education, growing up and sexual activity should be about joy. Gen Z are so anxious about everything and we want them to be happy adults.”

The young, she says, need to discover for themselves what they find pleasurable and comfortable. “We need to reclaim sex. At best sex should be about love and commitment. They are beginning to have trusted, candid conversations and we want to keep that going.”


Brisbane-based Youth Wellbeing Project student presentations help young people understand the influence of porn on unrealistic expectations, true consent and the qualities of safe, healthy and positive relationships.

June 23, 2021

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