“There is a real risk that young people are growing up with a skewed view of what sex is.” Sean Templeton

So what are YOUR boys watching online ?

 A boy of 12 who raped a nine-year-old girl after watching hard-core pornography online was spared jail yesterday as his lawyer warned of a generation of children growing up with a ‘skewed view’ on sex.

The schoolboy, who is now 14, told police he had raped the little girl because he wanted to ‘feel grown up’ after watching porn online.

In a disturbing case that has raised fresh concerns about the sexualisation of children, the teenager had unrestricted access to the web and was able to freely look at sexually explicit material. Read the full article in The Daily Telegraph

I have written many times about children and teenagers being exposed to a heavy diet of soft core porn.

Just flip through a magazine at your local  supermarket checkout, channel surf, look at billboards near your kids school, or watch TV ads, and you will be bombarded with images that a decade ago would have been considered soft-core porn.

I’ve got two kids – I’ve got a 19 year old son and a 17 year old daughter so I know first hand about navigating the choppy waters of the teenage years.

But things HAVE changed since I grew up with the increase in 24/7 connection, Facebook, Twitter and social media interaction, and the way kids access all sorts of information means that they need boundaries, explanation and guidance.

They also need protection.

It’s not good enough to bury your head in the sand and pretend it’s not happening as a recent study reported that one in three children aged ten have viewed pornography on the internet.

So what do we do as parents ?

We are in a really difficult and different and almost impossible position today thanks to to the increasingly pornographic and hypersexualised culture that we seem to be living in.

But YOU CAN put boundaries round the time spent online and put in protective measures to block unsuitable sites and you CAN talk, teach and educate your children and pass on your values about what it means to show respect and caring in sexual relationships.

Of course the media like to pick up on extreme cases – but yesterday  the boy’s lawyer warned the case was just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ and many other cases were going unreported.

One option being explored by the Government is that the “default” option will mean adult sites are automatically blocked unless people choose to switch off the censoring filter.

The action comes as fears grow that children as young as 11 are becoming addicted to obscene online material. Three quarters of children have unaccompanied access to the internet and 800,000 can view adult content, including 14 per cent of those younger than 10.

British internet providers make more than £3 billion a year and about a quarter of searches online are for pornography.

Here’s my article Bringing up kids in a porn culture

Claire Perry, MP for the Devizes Constituency led a debate in the House of Commons, on the 23rd November, calling for a change in regulations to require all UK-based Internet Service Providers to restrict universal access to pornographic content by implementing an opt-in system that requires verification that a user is over 18 for access to such material.

I’d love to hear your thoughts – is this the way forward ?

 

Read Parents get control over internet porn