AIBU to pray this is taken seriously - Diane Abbott - British Culture Increasingly Pornified

(41 Posts)
greeneyed Tue 22-Jan-13 12:59:43

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-21127073

I have a three year old boy and I am already worried about how he may view girls, relationships, sex etc as a teenager - With 24/7 access to porn how will his understanding of normal relationships develop - his expectations of women and relationships? Will he be eternally disappointed it isn't like a porn script or will all the girls be pressured to conform to these expectations, sexting etc - It scares me the pressure teenagers are under, what are schools doing about it? Is it time smart phones were banned from school for example?

PleasePudding Tue 22-Jan-13 13:11:39

I TOTALLY know what you mean. I heard this thing on the radio te other day about 'creep shots' and it is so hideous and predatory that for a while I wished the Internet wasn't about.

But actually I think boys and girls have alway talked to each other about sex and had weird ideas. School has always been the forum for these ideas. I'm sure porn will have some influence but I am sure that people will still pick up on relationship behaviour from their parents (especially boys picking up on enjoying female company and having a laugh with women and banter etcetera from their mothers) and they'll be ok. I do wonder though if it'll ever become ok to have pubic hair again. Apparently most adolescent boys are entirely unfamiliar with girls having it and get disturbed by it Ruskin style. That's fucked up.

FloatyBeatie Tue 22-Jan-13 13:12:22

I thought it was interesting that she was explicitly trying to treat these issues other than within the conservative right-wing "moral panic" kind of context that has often hijacked them. I hope that she can succeed in that. I think the way to do that is to emphasise very strongly that hypersexualisation of our culture is an aspect of the hypercommercialisation of our culture. The emphasis to change must be on the people selling sex and selling via sex. Business morality rather than personal conduct.

Pilfette Tue 22-Jan-13 13:12:31

YANBU to hope it's taken seriously. I read the article thinking exactly the same thing. I have 2 DDs, 14 and 17, and it's been a rough few years - they're under huge amounts of pressure and all I can do as a Mum is to try to counteract the drip drip of the media etc with common sense and hope some of it goes in. I guess as a mother to a boy, you'd do the same?

I think that schools do try to address it, my DDs school, for example, have had the local police in to talk to them about 'sexting' and explain that it can be a criminal offence, they've had many classes where bullying, and particularly cyber bullying have been discussed, multiple safety online sessions etc etc.

The kids aren't allowed phones at school, if they get caught with them they're taken away for the rest of the day, but how exactly can the school stop them taking their phones in if their parents let them?

I think the only solution is that both schools and parents continue to raise awareness of how sticky situations could potentially get, if, for example, you are sending pics of yourself undressed, but the teenage condition is such that often teens think they know everything. I know I did. it's one of the many things I'm glad about: that I was a teenager pre FB, the internet and mobile phones. I suspect that if that hadn't been the case, my life would be bloody difficult now sad

Greythorne Tue 22-Jan-13 13:18:53

Please pudding
You say:
But actually I think boys and girls have always talked to each other about sex and had weird ideas. School has always been the forum for these ideas.

I don't really agree. Now, the access to porn is so easy and prevalent, young people's ideas about sexuality are skewed in a way 10, 20, 30 years ago they almost certainly weren't.

Anal sex - which is ubiquitous in porn - is now seen as an "introductory" sexual activity because of the low risk of pregnancy.

I know that when my friends and I were becoming sexually active in our teens, anal sex was not seen as introductory.

Greythorne Tue 22-Jan-13 13:21:23

Just googled "creep shots":

creepshots.com/about/

And these men describe themselves as "a couple regular family guys".

Horrifying.

Pilfette Tue 22-Jan-13 13:23:14

Creepshots is a vile site. Reddit finally had their 'jailbait' (their words not mine) version shut down recently, thank fuck, but there are bits of the internet that make my skin crawl. However, how do you even begin to censor the internet?

NotEnoughTime Tue 22-Jan-13 13:33:56

Its very worrying, I agree.

What with all the filth porn that is available on the net, mobile phones, in "family" newspapers etc sometimes I feel our children dont stand a chancesad

PessaryPam Tue 22-Jan-13 13:37:02

I have trouble taking anything Diane Abbott says seriously.

Diane Abbott: I sent my son to private school so he wouldn't end up in a gang

'I know that when my friends and I were becoming sexually active in our teens, anal sex was not seen as introductory.'

I disagree, my mum who is in her 60s had friends at her school who were advised by their mums to have anal sex to protect their virginity for marriage. I don't think that idea is new.

KoalaTale Tue 22-Jan-13 13:40:50

Yanbu.

greeneyed Tue 22-Jan-13 13:41:07

On Radio 5 now

greeneyed Tue 22-Jan-13 13:51:01

Pilfette Glad to hear the issue is taken seriously in schools and phones are not allowed. Anal sex was definitely not discussed when we were teens (and we weren't shrinking violets). I don't think boys would ever have expected it!

CuttedUpPear Tue 22-Jan-13 13:51:42

Thanks for posting this OP.

ShamyFarrahCooper Tue 22-Jan-13 13:56:38

Interesting.

Actually we got a letter home yesterday to tell us that they have a parents evening next week to explain what they will discuss in the relationships & sexual health topic this term. Ds is 5 and in primary one. I'm a little terrified of what they go over so I'm glad to see they will explain to parents first.

Ds is our only child (so far) so have no idea what to expect.

PleasePudding Tue 22-Jan-13 14:00:06

Greythorne I know what you mean about the proliferation of porn affecting sexual behaviour - and it must have some effect but I remember boys at school talking about getting their brown stripes. I just hope teenage boys, talking about sex, bluster and that this is perennial.

FreudiansSlipper Tue 22-Jan-13 14:01:12

YANBU it is very worrying

I watched a programme last year on girls being pressured to take pictures of themselves and send them to boys their age. They felt pressure to do so and the most worrying thing was the boys attitudes of well if I pester them they may eventually give in but they too felt pressure to behave this way how fucked up. The message of no means no seemed to go over some of their heads sad

IDrankAllTheGravy Tue 22-Jan-13 14:03:02

I do worry about DS and how he will view women, he's only 2 and a half so got a while yet though! DP has been heavily influenced by porn but he couldn't see it, he thought it was normal. It worries me that a grown man can believe the things he sees on the Internet are all real, that the women doing it are proper loving it and not just reading a script and trying to earn some money.

Has anyone got any tips on how I can teach DS what is normal and what is fake as he grows up?

Pilfette Tue 22-Jan-13 14:04:56

Hmm when I was a teenager, a BJ was seen as the 'thing to do' if you didn't want to DTD. Not anal sex, but I agree that seemingly anal is the new BJ (that's a horrible sentence right there though!) The discussions my 17 yo DD has with her friends on the phone make me shock and blush and leave the room.

I talk to both my DDs about sex and try to emphasise the importance of the emotional aspect, respecting themselves etc as well but they do seem to view sexual acts as some sort of currency, almost. My biggest fear is that one of them will end up with nude photos on some guys phone. It seems to normal to them, this exchange whereby he texts a pic of his dick and you text one of your boobs back, "Muuuuuuum, all my friends do it, why are you being so uptight?" I just keep saying, would you want me seeing it? Your dad? Your teachers? Your uncle? What about employers? Your husband? Your kids? Think, dammit! (Just to be clear, as far as I know, they never have <crosses fingers emoticon>)

Ugh, I'm stressing myself out thinking about it.

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Tue 22-Jan-13 14:09:57

I think the messages given to the young need to emphasise enjoyment of sex and mutual enjoyment. That it's not something boys 'get from' girls, it's something people do together.

But it is very important to make sure that any such campaign isn't highjacked by people with a pro-abstinence agenda and that sort of dysfunctional mindset which gets off on controlling the sexual behaviour of others.

greeneyed Tue 22-Jan-13 14:40:33

Very good point Solid I don't have an issue with young people having sex it's their expectations about relationships I am concerned about - sexual dysfunction (I've read on here about porn addiction, people who cannot get off on normal sex etc etc) What will my boy expect sex to be about - some glamour model up for anything? He will be very disappointed I fear! Will he have unrealistic expectations of girlfriends?

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Tue 22-Jan-13 15:33:36

YANBU.

If and when I ever have a child, I want to move to a the middle of Dartmoor and ban everything! Society is so fucked up sad

LifeIsBetterInFlipFlops Tue 22-Jan-13 17:36:42

YANBU...I'm very concerned about the easy access of porn.

I think that there should be an 'opt in' filter for porn access - I think it was talked about in government recently but decided that it would mean that young people genuinely
researching sexuality would not be able to do so.

Madness.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Tue 22-Jan-13 17:41:57

I agree with you. I'm glad it's being raised by someone as high profile as Diane Abbott. I really think pornographic sites on the internet should be opt in not opt out. The norm should be to be unable to access them and then you can opt in though ISP if you want access.

quoteunquote Tue 22-Jan-13 18:12:38

, I want to move to the middle of Dartmoor

I don't want to burst your bubble,you might want to rethink, that would be a massive mistake, I could fill a book or two with the scandals of everyday dartmoor life.

It's about talking to children as they grow, not having taboo subjects, educating them,

I spent a lot of time talking to the boys and girls that I have brought up,

having debates, explaining about imprinting, explaining it's their responsibility to not pollute their own minds, explaining how it can ruin their own experiences, how it can take away from their enjoyment, why it spoils the fun for themselves,

my first batch are in their twenties now, it is really interesting to hear from them if us being up front, open and persistent helped, DS1 thinks we did well, he thinks that a lot of friends have damaged themselves irreversibly,

Just rase your children to be equalitist , and understand cause and effect, and to care about other people,

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Tue 22-Jan-13 18:24:23

I was, you know, not being absolutely literal. I was using Dartmoor as an example of somewhere remote with not too many people. I could equally have said the North York Moors.

You sound as though you have done admirably when it comes to producing sensible, well adjusted human beings, but even I realise that there are far more influences at work on a child than just its parents. It's far more complicated now than it ever was.

pointythings Tue 22-Jan-13 19:05:42

quote you've just said everything I was going to say.

quoteunquote Tue 22-Jan-13 19:34:35

quote you've just said everything I was going to say.

you know about dartmoor grin

ATPM

I was joking, it is just dartmoor is the biggest den of iniquities going the sex stories are outrageous, try Lundy.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Tue 22-Jan-13 19:40:16

Ok, ok, ok. Dartmoor was a bad choice. My point was that the pressures young people are facing from the commercialisation and pornification of culture makes me want to remove any children I have from it and bring them up somewhere free from it. Antarctica perhaps.

(And you're both wrong. I have been reading horrific things about Pitcairn Island. This is a British territory and Britain turned a blind eye sad )

BoneyBackJefferson Tue 22-Jan-13 19:44:07

greeneyed

"what are schools doing about it?"

Surely this should start at home?

JamieandtheMagicTorch Tue 22-Jan-13 19:48:38

School can't ensure parents don't buy their Dc s computers and smartphones with no willingness to put limits on their use or understanding of how to do so.

School can't stop parents allowing or helping their DCs to have facebook accounts in primary school and then not monitor their use.

RuleBritannia Tue 22-Jan-13 19:49:18

Perhaps I haven't taken in what has been discovered but all I can say is that my two 18/19 in 1984 both have happy marriages with children and as far as I know were never exposed to porn. There might have been hidden porno magazines but, if so, I don't know - and don't want to. They now live their own lives

What they do now is their business. Oh, let's bring back Victorian values and everyone will have a clean life!

Angelico Tue 22-Jan-13 19:52:34

YANBU. There was an interesting article in one of the Sunday papers last year about therapists seeing lots of younger guys (early twenties) who cannot have sexual relationships with normal women - by normal I mean pubes, pale skin (not fake tanned), normal boobs and lips etc. Usually it's down to lots of porn-watching as teens, watching really extreme stuff sometimes. It was actually really sad as apparently a lot of the guys are now at an age where they want to start having relationships and just don't know how to make sex and emotion go hand in hand.

What I REALLY hate is seeing porn-influenced clothes for kids, especially pre-teens and young teens.

PurpleStorm Tue 22-Jan-13 20:01:22

YANBU.

I also find it worrying how much more sexualised things are now. With things like the internet and smartphones it's so much easier for kids to stumble across porn, or be able to take nude photos of themselves, than it was 20 years ago.

But I think that tackling this isn't just an issue for schools. Parents also have a responsibility to try and teach their DCs about normal relationships.

Greythorne Tue 22-Jan-13 20:01:43

AKissIsNotAContract Tue 22-Jan-13 13:37:37
'I know that when my friends and I were becoming sexually active in our teens, anal sex was not seen as introductory.'

I disagree, my mum who is in her 60s had friends at her school who were advised by their mums to have anal sex to protect their virginity for marriage. I don't think that idea is new.

I do take your point. I know anal has been seen as a contraceptive method since time immemorial. There's that famous scene in the "Valley of the Dolls" set in the 60s which references this exactly, for example.

But I think there's a difference. Anal sex between consulting adults in a relationship as a part of spectrum of sexual activity, both of whom are enjoying it is one thing.

Teenage girls being made to feel pressure to have anal sex because their boyfriends have been exposed to porn and expect it is different. I think sexual activity used to happen along a continuum, starting with kissing, then "heavy petting", then fingers in vaginas, then intercourse, etc.

Porn, with its emphasis on "anything, anytime, with women who are always willing, no discussion, no questions about consent, no questions about the woman's pleasure has changed all that. In porn, the "money shot" is the man coming. Not the woman orgasming, because, frankly, the key thing is male pleasure.

There's been a change now so that anal is expected. Blow jobs are expected. Shaved pubic hair is expected.

Not sure where girls pleasure comes into any of these expectations.

BegoniaBampot Tue 22-Jan-13 20:54:59

Seen claims that many children accessing hard core porn round about the age. Of 10 and 11. That is very scary if true and I believe it could well be. I have a 10 yr old son and I do worry about it. when I was growing up in the 80's you just didn't have such easy access. Remember walking down the woods and sometimes coming across some old dirty mags but that was about it.

Begonia: the last study I remember hearing about was pretty blurred, lumping 11 year olds and the entire teen spectrum together for good scare-tactics.

BelaLugosisShed Wed 23-Jan-13 18:19:18

If it's not the pornification of our society that is responsible for yet another case of a group of young footballers raping and photgraphing a barely concious young woman - then what is?

What is giving some young men the feeling that they are entitled to rape and sexually humiliate young women?

AmberLeaf Wed 23-Jan-13 18:51:37

Why do you think gang rape and humiliation is a new thing?

It really isn't. I think maybe we hear about it more due to social media and people having instant access to news stories through the internet.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Wed 23-Jan-13 18:59:46

Ok, if we're not going to be as extreme as gang rape then not that long ago when I was at school, I got through the seven years without being groped or sexually threatened or humiliated. I don't think that would happen now.

AmberLeaf Wed 23-Jan-13 19:19:48

Im nearly 40 and boys at school [primary] used to try to feel me and my friends up daily.

Im not saying it isn't worse now, I don't know, but by no means is that sort of thing new.

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