Wednesday, November 14, 2012

UK - Explicit web pornography 'behind surge in schoolgirl sex abuse'

Original Article

Everything can give people distorted views.  TV, news media, music, you name it.  Like we've said before, education is the key to helping put a dent in sexual abuse, not naming, shaming and posting people's photos and criminal records on an online shaming hit-list.


Figures show that up to a third of sixth-form girls had been touched inappropriately by boys in their school.

Parliament was told that sex education should be made a compulsory part of the school curriculum as part of the Government's efforts to stop the exploitation of children.

Ann Coffey, the chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on runaway and missing children, blamed the increasing impact of internet pornography, which she said was "distorting teenage boys’ views of sex".

"There is a problem that boys are accessing adult websites which gives them a distorted attitude," she told MPs during a Commons debate on the sexual exploitation of children.

"It gives them a sense of entitlement, which means they may touch a girl inappropriately and use bullying or coercive behaviour."

She said the more children were taught about sex and relationships, the easier they would find it to speak out if they felt they were being abused.

Too often children did not know they were being abused or had been sucked into an inappropriate relationship until it was too late, she said.

Better teaching in the area would give youngsters the confidence to spot the signs they were being groomed and alert the authorities.

Ms Coffey said: "To speak out, first children need to feel confident that what is happening to them is wrong and that is why sex and relationship education in schools is so important."

"They need to know, indeed they are entitled to know, about issues such as sexual consent, what sexual coercion and exploitation is and how to shape healthy relationships and respect for each other as well as alerting them to the signs that they are being sexually groomed."
- Well, when we live in a sexually suppressed society, what do you expect?

"This will give them the confidence to reject inappropriate relationships. This is important in relation to grooming by older men for sexual exploitation but also important in relation to sexually coercive relationships by their peers."

Ms Coffey said that with often explicit pornography available to boys over the internet, there was growing evidence of girls at school experiencing sexual abuse at the hands of their peers.

Ms Coffey's comments came as MPs debated the problem of the sexual exploitation of children in Britain following a motion tabled by the Tory MP Nicola Blackwood (Oxford West and Abingdon).

She said often girls were lured in to damaging relationships with their abusers, who would use threats, violence and intimidation to exert their power.

Ms Blackwood said: "We should be aware that this very high level of national media attention is artificially pushing up reporting levels."

"But if increased reporting doesn't lead to better prevention, detection and prosecution then the bravery of those who have come forward will have been for nothing."

"Identifying gaps in provision will not be enough to prevent that outcome. We also need to find practical solutions and make sure they are actually driven through on the ground."

Former children's minister Tim Loughton, who left the Government in September's reshuffle, said: "One of the scandals was the way children were not only told to shut up or not believed, in some cases they were threatened physically with violence if they carried on coming forward with their stories."

"That must not happen now."

Shadow Home Office minister Diana Johnson said: "Neither perpetrators or victims are easily defined, but we certainly know that certain groups are particularly vulnerable, and the reality is that young women from all different social groups are exposed to sexual violence and vulnerable to sexual exploitation."

"It's equally unwise to generalise about the perpetrators."

"In the media ... much has been made of the prevalence of grooming within certain Asian communities, but sexual exploitation extends far beyond any particular community or any city."

"By trying to identify typical perpetrators, we risk missing many others."

She pointed to the various ongoing inquiries into child abuse and echoed calls for an overarching investigation.

It is compulsory in England for primary and secondary schools to teach the biological aspects of sex education, but not necessarily the broader subject of sex and relationships.

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