Research released this week by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has looked into pornography and the way that young people access it. The research found that more than half of young people had seen pornography online, including children as young as seven.
The research into pornography also found that children under the age of 10 described feeling "grossed out" and "confused" by what they had seen.
Although not all young people will have seen pornography, they may still feel pressure if their peers, friends or partners are engaging with it. Whether they have seen it directly or not, research suggests that it has the potential to influence young people, their attitudes and behaviour, and their perception of what constitutes healthy relationships and interactions. In this article we look at resources available to examine the issues around pornography for children of all ages.
Myth v reality
As part of our practical PSHE Toolkits for secondary schools we have created a lesson on online pornography.
This lesson and accompanying talking heads films explore the topic of online pornography. Through the toolkit activities, students can consider what myths are portrayed through pornography and how this could impact on how a young person feels about their body, relationships and gender roles. They explore strategies for resisting the pressure to watch pornography and receive clear signposting to advice and support on where to get reliable information about sex and relationships from online.
The PSHE toolkit was created based on focus groups with young people, ensuring that it represented youth voices and experiences. The PSHE toolkit also covers issues such as healthy relationships and body image.
* Please note that no pornography will be shown during the lesson activities or talking heads films, and during the learning activities, young people are not be expected to share if they have seen pornography before. *
Advice for professionals working with children and young people.
This looks at the key risks associated with online pornography, what the law says about it, and ways in which you can support the young people you work with.
Advice for parents and carers
This provides advice about how to talk with children about inappropriate content online. The hot topic has tailored information for parents and carers of children and of teens, with age appropriate advice and conversation starters.