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Pornography triumphs as 15 sex bullies are expelled from UK schools each day

Posted by Sophie-Host 19-04-13Comments 0

Today, young people are living in a claustrophobic culture saturated in sexual imagery. Our pop culture perpetuates images of women as sex objects, on billboards, music videos and most worryingly on online pornography that is increasingly violent and sexist. The result, girls are seen as solely sexual objects by boys whose sex education comes from the hardcore pornography dominating our cyberspace. And what has been the outcome? A significant rise of sexual bullying in our classrooms, playgrounds and canteens.

More than 3,000 children every year are excluded for offences including bullying, sexual assaults and sexual harassment. Amid ever-increasing concerns about the exposure of children to an over sexualised culture, the statistics demonstrate that the prevalence of ‘sexting ‘and sexual bullying should not be taken lightly. Sexual bullying can amount to sexual violence which is itself on the rise; one third of girls, aged 13-17, in an intimate relationship had experienced sexual violence from their partner. [1]

With overtly sexual behaviour spilling into our classrooms, questions must be asked as to what teachers are doing to counteract these actions. Too often teachers are aware of sexual harassment in their classrooms, but they do not have the training or resources to deal effectively with the problem. With children as young as 13 making homemade porn movies, it is imperative that schools take the lead in training their staff to be able to deal with these issues.

Becky is a 13-year old British girl. Boys at her school sexually exploited her. When her parents were away, a group of schoolboys were ‘invited’ round to take part in ‘group sex’ with Becky. A ‘sex party’.[2] There are a further 16,500 children like Becky at risk of sexual exploitation. When victims are exploited by their peers, the abuse is more likely to happen in neighbourhoods, in homes or most likely, under teachers’ noses, in schools. But are teachers opening their office doors to young people who are vulnerable to ‘sexual coercion’? And are schools actively teaching children about healthy relationships and sex education?

They all know how to put a condom on a banana. They all know about the biological reaction generated from arousal. But what about relationships education? It is imperative that young people are taught about the characteristics of a positive and negative relationship. The huge growth of pornography on the internet and the subsequent soft pornography that has seeped into our mainstream has created the hyper sexualised world our children play in. Videos streamed portraying the degradation of women relying on the abuse of women for sexual pleasure are being downloaded by young people daily. The word ‘no’ is glaringly non-existent and all the women ‘love to be fucked.’ The exposure of this explicit material without counteracting education in schools can only lead to one outcome; young girls unable to say ‘no’ in fear that otherwise they could be called ‘frigid’ and young boys who are encourage to see girls as objects without feelings and emotions.

Teachers must head this battle against pornography armed with training and teaching resources. Educating young people on loving relationships and sexual consent is the first step. High quality resources are available such as the ‘Love or Lies’ Education Resource Pack, CEOP’s ThinkUKnow internet resources and Barnardo’s BeWise to Sexual Exploitation. Similarly, e-learning courses such as the Virtual College’s ‘Safeguarding Children from abuse of Sexual Exploitation,’ can equip staff with the skills needed to support those vulnerable to sexual harassment. In turn governors, head teachers and heads of staff must take the lead in championing a zero-tolerance attitude to sexual bullying.

The battle is not over yet and the war still wages on. Children are falling victim to sexual bullying and abuse in every street, in every school and in every classroom. It is time for schools to stop shirking their responsibility and teach effective relationship education. With the right tools, schools have the ability to fight back and end the every growing disease that is sexual bullying.

[1] Christine Barter, Melanie McCarry, David Berridge and Kathy Evans, ‘Partner exploitation and violence in teenage intimate relationships’, (10th September 2009) from

[2] Becky’s story, ‘I thought I was the only one: Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Gangs and Groups, Interim report’, Office Of the Children’s Commissioner


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