'Hypersexualised' culture damaging women and children

Published 22 January 2013

Women and girls are being degraded by a "striptease" culture in Britain, the shadow health minister Diane Abbott will warn in a speech today.

She believes a "revolution in sex education" is needed to curb the premature sexualisation of children and young people.

In her speech to the Fabian Society's women network, she is expected to condemn sexualised advertising and music videos, "hypermasculinised" song lyrics, and the "sexualised figures of women in films that is now commonplace".

Ms Abbott will raise particular concern about the role that technology is playing, with "sexting" - where young people exchange sexually explicit text messages - increasingly regarded as normal.

"It's a hypersexualised British culture in which women are objectified, objectify one another, and are encouraged to objectify themselves; where homophobic bullying is normalised; and young boys' world view is shaped by hardcore American pornography and other dark corners of the internet," she will say.

Ms Abbott will call for a national conversation involving parents and teachers on how to create a society built around the family and family values, rather than "anything goes" market values.

In addition to dialogue, she will call for greater restrictions on what children and young people can access on their mobile phones and through the internet.

She will say: "Parents and teachers have a duty to ensure that children develop a healthy view of sexuality, distinct from this porn version that is swamping and infiltrating British life."

Reprints

More News in Society