In British Columbia (BC), the westernmost of Canada’s 10 provinces, most children will have seen some kind of pornography by the time they have reached Grade 6, says sex therapist and lecturer on human sexuality at the University of British Columbia, Jason Winters.
Winters sparked a controversy in the BC media in September 2015 when he called for schools to incorporate porn into sex education programmes.
Winters decried the current ‘head-in-the-sand’ situation in BC families and homes where sex and porn are not adequately discussed. He noted that the internet makes pornography easily accessible to children. But, says Winters, “Porn distils sex down to the absolute and most intense part of the fantasy – there’s rarely even a conversation before sex happens.
“So if kids watch porn without context, they have no idea that this isn’t a relationship,” said Winters, adding that if children were exposed to such images in structured school environments, they would be able to contextualise and understand them better than if they watched porn ‘in secret’.
According to Winters, key questions teachers should be discussing with their students include: “What is intimacy? What is love? How can you stand up for what you want and what you don’t want?”
In April 2015, the Gold Trail School District 74 in BC was forced to investigate an incident involving Grade 3 students at Cayoosh Elementary School, who did a Google search for – and accessed – pornographic images on school computers during school time.
Category: Summer 2015