Helen Russell “Porn belongs in the classroom, says Danish professor” http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2015/mar/16/pornography-belongs-classroom-professor-denmark
Graugaard’s proposal is not simply following in the long tradition of sexually permissive Scandinavia. It is, he insists, a sensible way of teaching teenagers that pornography is nothing like real sex.
“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,” he told the Guardian.
“We know from research that a vast majority of teenagers have seen porn at an early age – so it’s not a question of introducing youngsters to porn,” he added. According to one Nordic study, 99% of boys and 86% of girls in Scandinavia have already seen pornographic films by the time they’re 16*2. What Graugaard wants is to make sure teens “possess the necessary skills to view porn constructively”.
“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.”
Denmark was the first country in the world to lift the ban on pornography in 1967. “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.”
He added: “It’s not our job to scare off teenagers, rather we should encourage them to explore the joys of sexuality in a safe way and on their own terms – instead of turning our backs on them.”
Tom Porter “Denmark: Professor Christian Graugaard calls for pornography to be shown in schools” http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/denmark-professor-christian-graugaard-calls-pornography-be-shown-schools-1490615
Felicity Capon “Show Pornography in Schools, Urges Danish Sexology Professor” http://www.newsweek.com/show-pornography-schools-urges-danish-sexology-professor-311090
Yet opinion within the UK is divided. The chairman of the Campaign for Real Education*3, Chris McGovern, believes that teaching students about pornography should be a decision that parents make. “You’ve got to listen to the parents. On the whole, they know best. But I do not think the UK is anywhere near what is being proposed in Denmark, because quite simply, it would cause an outcry among parents. It would cause outrage and considerable anxiety.”
According to McGovern, the issue is certainly one of growing concern. “Pornography and sex education is definitely more of an issue than it used to be. Sexting*4 is certainly an issue among young people, and it is a fact of life that children are sending sexual images to each other, which is being used by bullies. But I don’t think this Danish professor quite understands the damaging impact putting porn before young children could cause.”
According to research carried out on on behalf of NAHT (National Association of Headteachers) in 2013, more than half of UK parents questioned (51%) believed that lessons on the dangers of pornography shouldn’t be introduced to children until they’d reached their teens, although 42% felt that even children as young as five or six needed guidance as soon as they were old enough to access the internet, and 7% thought it was never appropriate to raise issues of pornography in schools*5.
While McGovern accepts that it is difficult to teach about the dangers of the internet without actually showing students the dangers, he believes there are plenty of schools where “chaos reigns”, and that showing pornography in these schools could have a detrimental effect on other areas of learning, or be viewed as a form of entertainment by some students.
In 2013, the Sex Education Forum (SEF)*6, a coalition of more than 90 organisations, including the NSPCC and Barnardo’s, released a guide which urged UK teachers to examine and discuss “real” and “unreal” behaviour in pornography, and advises that not all pornography is bad*7. The pamphlet directed teachers to a website called TheSite, an advice forum for young people, which tells teenagers that “porn can be great”. “Sex is great. And porn can be great,” the website reads. “It’s the idea that porn sex is like real sex which is the problem. But if you can separate the fantasy from the reality you’re much more likely to enjoy both.”
*1:See eg. http://vbn.aau.dk/da/persons/christian-graugaard(aa1d91d1-7ea1-474c-8eba-cf917ab2d232).html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Graugaard
*3:右派系の団体。http://www.cre.org.uk/ See eg. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campaign_for_Real_Education
*5:“Parents want schools to manage dangers of pornography, says NAHT survey” http://www.naht.org.uk/welcome/news-and-media/key-topics/parents-and-pupils/parents-want-schools-to-manage-dangers-of-pornography-says-survey/
*7:See Melanie Hall and Graeme Paton “School pupils should be taught 'not all porn is bad', advise experts” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/10019617/School-pupils-should-be-taught-not-all-porn-is-bad-advise-experts.html
*8:See eg. http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20060912/1158067383 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20061020/1161326515 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20091123/1258950633
*9:See http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20130706-00000010-tospoweb-spo Cited in http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20130707/1373185561