Is it time for #PornWarnings?

So the proliferation of mobile phones around the world has increased accessibility to online pornography.

This…PLUS terrible sex education for young people, which I think we can all agree is a pretty international problem…(*flashbacks to awkward afternoons with your maths teacher trying to explain periods to a room of giggling children*) means that, increasingly, porn is becoming a de facto sexual education for many teenagers (boys in particular).

Not only are young people learning about sex via what is essentially often extreme ‘theatre’, but they are also given no sense of what good sexual health looks like. There’s no warning or discussion of contraception, STIs, pregnancy risks, consent…etc…in porn. All they are shown is often submissive women ‘performing’ for the male gaze. Frequently without condoms.

This is dangerous.

And I anticipate this becoming an increasingly huge problem for countries where access to sexual health services is difficult and costly at best (I know of sexual health clinics where they are unaware of chlamydia, for example) and in countries where sex education is either non-existent or uncomfortable and basic (which I think might be almost everywhere).

Whatever you think of porn, I wonder if it’s about time that the porn industry took responsibility and ensured all their content came with an engaging/fun health warning, or were required to produce short sexual health and consent films for a global audience that users MUST watch before viewing… What do you think?



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