Teacher alarm over sexual behaviour of school pupils

The Association of Teachers and Lecturers will next week be discussing measures to protect young people from the dangers of pornography and unhealthy sexual behaviour.

According to a report in The Telegraph, teachers are concerned that attitudes towards sexual relationships are being warped by easy access to internet pornography.

The teachers will discuss a motion being raised by biology teacher Helen Porter outlining concerns about the impact pornography is having on students.

"Sexual activity in school is becoming more normalised because pupils are seeing it more," she said.

Mrs Porter said she was concerned that pornography was changing the way girls feel about their own bodies, causing some to even want cosmetic surgery.

"I've heard of a 13-year-old girl taking part in an amateur porn video – it is really sickening," she said.

"Research has found that 50 per cent of youngsters had taken part in some sort of webcam sexual experience."

The Telegraph cites figures from Plymouth University, which found that 80 per cent of young people are looking at sexual images online on a regular basis. The university found sexting to be common among 13 to 14-year-olds and that the average age to start watching pornography was around 11 or 12-years-old.

Mrs Porters said pornography is "never mentioned" in many schools. However, she believes "it needs to be".

"If it is discussed children might begin to think about the damaging effects and they might realise that most of what they see is not what normally occurs between people," she said.

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