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Porn: What's the harm? - BBC 3 - Thursday April 10: TV Review

By Western Gazette - South Somerset  |  Posted: April 11, 2014

By Jo Reynolds

Porn: What's the harm? - BBC 3 - Thursday April 10: TV Review
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I'm watching this as a parent of a 12 year old and seven-year-old to try and understand what my children may be facing and how best I can help them through this minefield of social pressures and I am hoping to get some insight into the conversations and experiences that our children may be having.

TV and radio presenter Jameela Jamil is looking into how early people look at porn the effects of it and how our children are accessing porn in 2014. I am wondering whether watching this program will alter my views which are quite normal for a parent I think, I don't think either of my kids is old enough to be discussing sex and porn although I'm sure that my son who is 12 will have had this discussion at schooling in this safe environment should there be age limits?

Social media sites are an easy access route to pornographic videos posted by other individuals, these are obviously not regulated in the same way is other films and programs and when you don't have to prove your age it makes access very easy. Perhaps too easy. Home videos are on the increase on social media and the fact that these can be uploaded almost instantly gives very little chance to actually think about what you're doing and long term effect it would have on you your friendships and your reputation, and once it is out there it is impossible to recall the video.

It is estimated that most children will have come into contact with porn by the time they're 12 or 13 years old. Quarter of 9 to 16-year-olds will have accessed porn in the last 12 months due to the rise in phones and tablet usage. I was really shocked that you don't even have to prove your age to access porn online this is something I certainly never knew and as a parent of a 12-year-old boy who has a Kindle and access to the Internet is really rather worrying. 250 young adults with 12 week younger when they first accessed pornography.

The interview with the ex-porn star is disturbing as she doesn't seem to have a grasp on the implications of her film and who might be watching her, I am concerned that anyone watching this could see the beautiful house, a room full of shoes and a young girl who earns £300 per scene and has no problem with kids watching her films and be tempted into that lifestyle.

There is clearly a gender in difference when it comes to pornography unsurprisingly perhaps more boys watch it more than girls. The program investigates how this affects an individuals view on sex and expectations of sex and how they treat the other sex as they grow up. Boys apparently watch pornography for the enjoyment and girls watch it to educate themselves on sexual practices.

I was astounded to learn that 12 to 14-year-olds are asking for plastic cosmetic surgery on their vaginas as they don't look like ones seen in porn films and therefore are not attractive or normal, this is the most shocking thing I think I have ever heard.

I was both impressed and concerned by the fact that 5 year olds were being spoken to about sex, pornography and how to keep themselves safe. I admired the way the lesson was handled and the sensitivity involved but felt sad that our babies aren't able to stay babies for long at all. I guess as a parent you have to decide when to teach your children about these issues. We already know the children are growing up faster in today than they ever have done but this is not always a good thing and that is the main question I think this programme is trying to address.

So has this program changed my personal views? No. Whilst I am not a prude, I am shocked by a lot of what I have seen and heard and have concerns about what my children may be exposed to and able to access with no restrictions in place and no control of the content. What have I learnt? That I need to make sure my children feel free to ask questions, share concerns and strong enough to resist peer pressure when it comes to accessing pornography.

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