Teachers being asked to teach porn literacy

protective behaviours

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

Schools ‘should teach how to view porn’, sex forum says – BBC News

Should schools teach ‘porn literacy’  – Quibly

New Zealand Health Education 

Pokémon Go

Pokémon Go is everywhere at the moment. There is a temptation to ignore it or consider it as a passing phase or craze but there are equally enough alarm buttons around  for it to be considered as one for the experts. If you go skydiving, driving, sailing, scuba diving, horse riding you are at risk. Normally you learn high risk activities from an expert and experienced trainers through a series of programmed stages.. Society then also has a level of awareness about these activities and has safety thinking and measures in place. You don’t stop people from riding in a helicopter because things could go wrong. Training and development have always been part of our socialization as we engage with high risk activities. We learn how to protect ourselves, defend ourselves, prepare ourselves and what the expected behaviours are. Pokémon Go has crossed a gaming boundary where people go out into the wild to find Pokémon. They can be found anywhere because it is a game which uses sat nav and augmented reality. It is making really good use of the technology we have to create a different level of game interaction and develop a different set of gaming skills. I don’t know how the young people in the video could create a Pokémon which would then entice others so they could be robbed. There are a number of sites which are looking at  the side of Pokémon Go which is putting people at risk and I have left the links at the bottom of this post so you can follow it up. We need gaming experts, psychology experts, police and safety experts to get into the conversation and look at how we can keep people safe. As teachers we cannot ignore it. Nor can we ignore it as family members. There would be a lot of people in their mid 20s playing the game because they grew up with it. There are also younger people who are now new players to the game. It then is like any other highly skilled social activity. New players need to be taught properly as they would be with sailing. They need to be trained properly as they would be with football. Some digital games now need the same layers of training and development as other activities which can create problems for those who do not know how to play properly. If we just look upon it as a phase or something we don’t need to engage with , there are going to be problems as there would be if we ignored people who knew nothing going into the mountains to try and ski.

pokemon go Image: ifunny.co

Four things parents should know about Pokémon Go
Child safety warnings
Pokémon Go Tips for Parents
A Parent’s Guide To Playing Pokémon GO With Your Kids

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