On Wednesday, February 14 the New York Times released an article titled What Teenagers Are Learning From Online Porn. The outlet asked the “question can teens be taught to see pornography more critically?”
For insight, contributing writer Maggie Jones turned to a “Porn Literacy” class, a course currently funded publicly and taught to Boston high school students. While interviewing students participating in the class, Jones gathered that the students were perplexed about how porn translated into real life. They wondered if the violence portrayed in pornography is desired in real relationships.
The “peer-leadership program” shows graphic material in hopes of creating “savvy” and “critical” consumers of pornography. Not once in the curriculum do students learn the damaging effects of pornography. There is also no condemnation directed towards pornography use or acknowledgement that pornography has been accepted as a public health crisis by numerous state governments and public health officials.
Abstinence Clearinghouse’s new booklet, The Truth About Pornography, outlines that pornography:
1. Decreases Sexual Satisfaction
2. Disconnects Real Relationships
3. Creates an Addiction
4. Lowers your View of the Opposite Sex
5. Supports Human Trafficking
The lack of virtue and self-respect is only one of the glaring flaws in Jones’ article. The question is not “whether the legal viewing age of 18 is too high,” but how educators can offer a better moral foothold for students who will be future husbands, wives and parents. Sex education will only serve to teach sex and will continue to expose students to inappropriate content and eliminate parents from the equation.