Children 'Should Be Taught About Porn and Sexting', Survey Shows

A majority of Britons believe children should be taught about sexting and pornography in schools, according to a new survey.

 Illustration by Lena Yang.

Illustration by Lena Yang.

The findings will fuel demands for relationship and sex education to be compulsory in all schools across the country.

The poll of 2,000 adults found that 75% of people want children to be taught about the impact of pornography, and just 7% were opposed to the idea.

The survey, commissioned by Plan International UK, also found that 71% want children to be taught about sexting, 86% of those surveyed want lessons on sexual consent, and 82% want lessons on abusive relationships.

Plan International UK's chief executive Tanya Barron said: "Parents are simply demanding that their children's education reflects the 21st century reality of their lives.

"Children today can be exposed to all sorts of sexual imagery on a daily basis which we know to be causing harm.
"Children themselves, girls in particular, are telling us that they feel they need improved, age-appropriate mandatory sex and relationships education to help them navigate these difficult issues."

Under current rules, secondary schools under local authority control must teach sex education, but academies and free schools do not have to.

Parents can also opt to take their children out of these classes.

Conservative MP Maria Miller, who heads the Women and Equalities Committee was one of five select committee chairs who wrote to Education Secretary Justine Greening to ask for a change in policy.

She said: "Parents and children know they need help and that is why I want compulsory lessons at school to help children better understand the signs of an abusive relationship, issues such as consent and the harm that is done by sexting and underage viewing of pornography.
"Evidence given to the Women and Equalities Select Committee on sexual harassment in schools clearly indicates abusive relationships are spilling over from the offline world into everyday school life.
"Better relationship education can help children handle these pressures better."

The government has faced increasing pressure to improve the quality of sex education lessons and make them compulsory after several reports found that young people routinely face sexual harassment and bullying.

Attempts to change the law have so far been knocked back, but ministers are being lobbied to amend upcoming legislation.

Ms Greening said she is looking into the issue, but there is no legislative change proposed yet.

 

Written by ITV News