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by Katie Peachesa April 11, 2020 4 min read

How Pornography Affects Young People: Part 2

By Ekaterina Mironova

Argument two:
‘Porn cannot be blamed exclusively for the way children, young men and young women act. Music videos, TV programs, gaming and the fashion industry also play a part in how these groups view sex and relationships.

It is a well-known fact that children spend more time watching TV than they do engaging with any other activity during their average day-to-day life, and it has a significant effect on their health and wellbeing. Through TV, music videos and computer games children and young people have an extraordinary amount of exposure to scenes of real-life and simulated sexual experiences. This coupled with the reluctance of many parents and teachers to tackle these issues head on has made the media many young people’s most influential teacher when it comes to sex education. I don’t intend to try and point the finger at parents here; however the amount of late night TV that the average underage child is free to watch appears to be on the up. These programs (including music videos) often show a glamourized version of sex without responsibility which encourages young people and teens to see sex in a skewed manner. I consider myself to be pretty difficult to shock when it comes to explicit demonstrations of sex in TV programs, but I have even found myself cringing slightly at some of the stuff I’m seeing, often just after the 9 o’clock watershed. I can only imagine how those scenes are affecting young people! It is believe that overly sexual scenes in music videos are particularly influential, as young people are seeing their idols acting out these scenes and have a desire to emulate what they are seeing.

Gaming is another area for concern. I would say that this is less important with regards to children; however it has a wide distribution amongst teenagers. Sex is often depicted in a care-free and often violent way in some of the most popular games targeted at a teenage audience. For example Grand Theft Auto: Vice City shows simulated sex with, and then the murder of a prostitute. While this game has an 18 certificate in the UK, there is nothing to stop a young person from playing on their older sibling or parent’s copy of the game other than the rules enforced upon them by their parents. To make matters worse GTA and other violent and sexually explicit games such as are regularly advertised before the watershed and during programs which are watched by children and teenagers.

Finally, I believe that it is important to mention that impact that the fashion industry has on children and teenagers, particularly girls. Provocative clothing items have been in the media recently with stories about padded bikini tops aimed at 7 year olds and t-shirts carrying slogans like ‘born to be a porn star’ targeted at young girls. Thankfully these issues are now being address and tackled by the government and we should see a reduction in provocative clothing in the shops and online. This has come about not a moment too soon in my opinion as their effect on the premature sexualisation of children and young teenagers cannot be overestimated. You only need to walk down your local high street on a Saturday morning to see large groups of girls in miniskirts, tight jogging bottoms with ‘Juicy’ written across the behind, hair extensions and eyeliner.

Conclusion:

While I am a very ‘live and let live’ type of person, I cannot help but feel uncomfortable with the sheer amount of sexual content that I am exposed to on a daily basis. Even if I make no attempts to seek out sexually explicit material, it always seems to be there staring me in the face. That being said, I also do not feel that pornography can be wholly blamed for the increase in regularity and the reduction in age of those engaging in sexual behaviour before their 16th birthday. What is also of concern is the type of sex teenagers who are over the age of consent are getting involved with. These days STDs are prevalent, as is group sex and sex without responsibility or any emotional attachment. I’m not going to be a hypocrite here and say that casual sex is wrong, but I will say that it appals me to hear of kids aged 16/17 sleeping their way around their classroom. Unfortunately this trend only appears to be getting worse, despite the attempts of TV programs such as The Sex Education Show to bring teenagers back down to earth with regards to real life sex and real life bodies.

These days children and teens are more likely to have unsupervised time watching TV in their bedrooms where their parents have no idea what their children are watching or how they are being influenced. Couple this with an increase in the amount of Xbox and PlayStation consoles in the average teenager’s room and you are looking at a real problem. Obviously adding unsupervised internet use into this mix is not helping the situation, but internet porn cannot be taken in isolation and blamed for the fallout from this over exposure to sexual material. The buck must stop somewhere, but it is hard to decide where. Obviously parents have their part to play in trying to ensure that their children are not getting too much access to late night TV, inappropriate games and clothing styles, but it is hard to see how this can be enough. Advertisers, TV bosses, artists and movie stars also need to consider how their work and their actions affect our youth.

Katie Peachesa
Katie Peachesa

Katie Peachesa is a sex and lingerie blogger based out of the urban chic Wapping in the heart of East London, United Kingdom. In her spare time, Katie enjoys photography, yoga and fitness, a bit of boxing, traveling, keeping up with the latest fashion trends and mudlarking and exploring pastoral settings. You are likely to find Katie in an artisan cafe in Brick Lane on a Saturday afternoon furiously typing her next article on her laptop whilst she is sipping on her flat white and drawing inspiration from the hustle and bustle in the heart of creative London. Katie runs the "Fashion Life Mag" and has been featured in Cosmopolitan, Allure, Grazia, Tatler, Evening Standard and other popular media outlets.


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