Why is porn an issue for schools?

There is a growing awareness in many schools of the ways in which the pervasiveness and influence of explicit sexual imagery can undermine students’ healthy development.

Schools increasingly are required to respond to incidents relating to explicit sexual imagery, including ‘sexting’ incidents, involving the circulation of sexual imagery of students. This increase in incidents reflects a shift both in the place of new technologies and in the role of explicit sexual imagery in many young people’s lives.

There is a growing awareness in many schools of the ways in which the pervasiveness and influence of explicit sexual imagery can undermine students’ healthy development. Pornography is now the most prominent sexuality educator for many young people. But much of what young people are learning from pornography is problematic.

Pornography conveys complex messages about gender, power, sexual health, bodies, pleasure, consent, performance, sexuality and sex. Young people often do not have the critical frameworks required to deconstruct and understand these messages.

Many schools are looking for assistance to respond to incidents involving explicit sexual imagery. More and more schools are also keen to implement a broad, proactive approach to preventing the harms associated with pervasive and often-aggressive pornography, and to equip students to navigate healthy social and sexual development in the 21st century.

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