Image: Protective Behaviours
The porn industry relies on the compulsive attitude of people towards porn. It relies on exposure both literally and metaphorically. I haven’t missed the irony that if you ask teachers to address porn literacy in schools because it would appear research suggests children are being damaged by exposure to porn, we are then allowing even more exposure. I understand why so many parents now are home schooling and world schooling their children. Both of those areas are growing. I was one of the few teachers who trained for the compulsory and urgent delivery of AIDS education in schools in South Australia. I went on to be one of the teachers delivering a 4 week sexually transmitted diseases prevention course to year 11s (16 year olds). We were required by law to deliver the AIDS education . The school I was in at the time then went on to create a one year life skills course to help teenagers deal with the real world issues and STD teaching was part of that. That was pre SACE. SACE had its own compulsory subjects like Australian Studies. We were all trained to deliver the AIDS and STD materials and curriculum. I had also trained as a trainer of trainers in protective behaviours. I didn’t find delivering AIDS education difficult. It was something which parents and students at the time found very helpful. We did not just do it, though. For the AIDS education we had no choice and parents knew that. The life skills course was something we discussed with parents so everyone had their input and say. If children are being exposed to porn we need to remember we have laws against it. We need a really clear picture of how young people are accessing it. If they are not doing safe searches then parental controls are not on. If they are by passing the parental controls we need better ones. If they are accessing porn in someone else’s home or other venue it then comes back to our laws. If nobody cares much what images are on prime time, popular sites then we have a problem. It’s a big issue. Children need trusted adults to talk to about these matters. It should be their parents. If it can’t be their parents then there are counsellors available. If it is determined to be a really serious a problem which requires action then maybe some teachers should be specifically trained in porn literacy as I was in AIDS education and STD prevention. Putting it in the curriculum only adds to the industry exposure in the same way talking about food porn does. We just keep using that word and we are normalising it and helpfully detracting from what appears to be quite a problem. The industry thrives on access. So I’d not be thinking about porn at all. I’d be looking at how to deal with the issues which have arisen . Given our laws, unless they change, we need to go back and look at what they say and start asking sites and individuals to please comply. Saying it’s everywhere and then putting it in schools is not my idea of how to solve it. Like AIDS education , though, it’s something where there can be a dialogue between parents and schools and then suitable courses developed if there is a perceived need for this.
If you want to read some of the discussions , you can take a look at these sites:
Teaching Media Literacy and Combating Pornography – Catholic Education Resource Centre
Should schools teach ‘porn literacy’ – Quibly