Dec 012012
 

‘So how’s the ‘teens traumatised by online porn’ thing going at your school then?’ I asked my teenagers as a means of encouraging some after-dinner conversation this week. 

‘Oh. Um. Well it doesn’t really happen’ my 15-year-old son said, as my 13-year-old daughter rolled her eyes.

‘Well according to this report I’ve just read, it’s happening in all schools, porn being passed round on smart phones and stuff like that’ I said.

‘Not at our school. You know what our school’s like’

(It’s just a bog standard secondary school)

‘We laugh in the face of that sort of thing mum’ said my son, and the conversation continued into areas of media representation of men and women and sex generally.

The advice I gave them was ‘Remember that it’s only a tiny percentage of the adult world that does stuff like that and films it, and you can choose which bit of the adult world you want to go into’  but they didn’t really need it. It was me that needed the reassurance, not them.

They are very media-savvy and know exactly how images are meant to manipulate them, as I think a lot of young people do these days, much more than us adults. 

The advice I would give to any parent is to un-scare yourself first and treat it like you would any other subject: share with your children things you read, ask them about it, notice things in the media, watch TV with your kids and whenever you see a hint of it, laugh in the face of that sort of thing…

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