We can't ban pornography – but we do need to stop children accessing it

This is not about banning pornography, but protecting children from harmful and often degrading representations of sex and desire.

On the Guardian:

Today the Authority for Television on Demand (Atvod) published research telling us children as young as six are accessing hardcore pornography. If we were to apply their study of 45,000 households nationally, that is 44,000 primary school children and 200,000 under-16s accessing adult sexual material; 112,000 boys aged 12-17 had visited one site alone, Pornhub. These figures aren’t even a realistic assessment as mobiles and tablets do not feature in the research. We should be shocked by the scale of the problem before us and galvanised into action. This is not about banning pornography, but protecting children from harmful and often degrading representations of sex and desire.

[...]

Watching pornography does have real consequences for young people. In 2013, the children’s commissioner set academics from Middlesex University the task of reviewing research on how pornography affected adolescents. More than 276 submitted papers showed that: “Pornography has been linked to unrealistic attitudes about sex, beliefs that women are sex objects, more frequent thoughts about sex, and [that] children and young people who view pornography tend to hold less progressive gender role attitudes.” [Rest.]

British Youth reject Religion

(Well, not entirely if you have a good look at the findings. And a discussion of statistical significance was not included.)

YouGov survey:

In the 2011 Census, 59% of the population described themselves as Christian and only a quarter reported having no religion. But a new poll of young people for the Sun by YouGov finds that the place of religion in the lives of young Britons is smaller than ever. YouGov asked 18-24 year olds which figures have influence on their lives, and religious leaders came out on bottom: only 12% feel influenced by them, which is far less than even politicians (38%), brands (32%) and celebrities (21%). [Rest.]

Related:

Sexual consumerism is a conspiracy against young women

This trend is not limited to just young women, of course.

Sitting on my commuter train on Thursday, I glanced at my fellow travelers Metro and an article headlined “‘Pornstar chic’ sees nine-year-old girls ask for designer vaginas on the NHS”.

Now I see a conspiracy of consumerisation where others might see Free Masons.  But just because I’m paranoid it doesn’t mean they are not out to commodify you, me and everything.  I Googled the headline on my smart phone to get the facts, which proves two things.  First, Google like Hoover has become a verb and therefore my commodification of everything theory holds true. Second, I’m very careless about what I type into my browser.  Luckily the search was specific enough that nothing too embarrassing emerged. But it was a stupid risk, one I repeated that evening during the Liverpool UEFA cup game when I foolishly decided I needed to know more about their opponents  – the Young Boys of Bern. It’s all just research you understand.

Anyway back to young girls’ vaginas. One designer vagina would be horrendous. How can one possibly happen? What could be going through her mind, her parents’ minds or the surgeons that validated such an act?   But a report in the British Medical Journal reveals that 343 labiaplasties were performed on girls aged 14 or younger over the last six years. That’s three hundred and forty three on girls aged fourteen or younger!!

[Read more: newstatesman]

Related:

Young people are rubbish…

Back in the day – a phrase never used back in the day by anyone I ever met – we were the knees of the bees. Being young was very heaven. Everything was better. Because we were just better. Sadly, young people today are just rubbish. Look at them on their meow meow, mainlining the Kardashians, doing pathetically downgraded exams and degrees in astroturfing. Look at their inability to get jobs in a recession. Look at the really lazy ones on the streets in sleeping bags, and the ones who don’t even own any property. Hardly suprising when they turn up at school with no social skills and leave with fewer.

I am exaggerating, but not much. I hear these conversations all the time, and I feel disgusted with my generation. It is not that I am down with the youth or anything, but every day I see things I took for granted – education, housing, reasonable employment – being stripped away from younger generations. Of course, I am nostalgic for the time when you could change jobs in your lunch hour, live in a great squat and waft through a degree. But it really is different now. This is not down to our individual children’s lack of ability. We need to grow up.

Those people who are surprised that David Cameron wants to take away housing benefit from the under-25s have not been paying attention at the back. From tuition fees to workfare to benefit cuts to young parents, to careers stitched up by free internships and temporary contracts, a clear ideological and electoral decision has been made. These young people don’t vote, they don’t pay much tax, and they are superfluous to a Tory win. It is older people who vote. Thus the freezing, half-starved pensioner is always wheeled out – not the comfortably-off guy playing golf in Marbella – to be pitted against feckless, hooded youth – as though we have to choose between them. We don’t.

[Read more: guardian]