Pornography has now become the main sex educator for a vast number of youth. To provide an idea of the statistical likelihood of young people being in some way, influenced by pornography, an Australian study published in 2017 found that 69% of boys and 23% of girls have seen pornography by age 13 or younger. This same study found that in the 15-29-year-old age bracket, 84% of young men and 19% of young women watched pornography on a weekly or daily basis. Due to the hardcore, most often violent nature of pornography, youth consumption is resulting in a significant number of harms to their physical and mental health, wellbeing and relationships.
Teens who are regularly accessing pornography can do so at the click of a button as often as they seek it out. In addition, youth are regularly absorbing hypersexualised media messages via digital technology platforms, social media, gaming, music videos, movies, and more. We cannot expect young people to receive enough information to counteract hypersexualised culture from one or even numerous school presentations. As such, it is important that they have regular opportunities to critique the stories that pornography tells them, and ensure they are provided with alternative and accurate information to assist them to resist pornified messages and develop their own pathways for authentic sexual development. So young people can be fully supported, it is vitally important for teachers, parents and carers to be fully informed. Parents can be directed to Culture Reframed and the Office of the eSafety Commissioner – relevant links can be found on the Follow-up Support Links Tab.
The following information is designed to equip facilitators to feel confident with the subject of pornography and equipped to discuss any questions that may arise during delivery of NEW GEN RISING.