DEVELOPMENT DILEMMA: Parents and teachers are being urged to more closely monitor potentially harmful online porn use.
DEVELOPMENT DILEMMA: Parents and teachers are being urged to more closely monitor potentially harmful online porn use. monkeybusinessimages

OPINION: Is porn use harming our kids?

CYBER safety expert Susan McLean has urged Australian educators and parents to be more active in monitoring online activities of children.

Ms McLean recently wrote about the risk of online exposure to pornography in the Sydney Morning Herald, and with the average age of first exposure at just 11 in Australia, suggested early porn consumption may lead to unrealistic sexual values and beliefs.

Her suggested remedy was to leave the responsibility for sexuality education instead with parents and teachers.

In private schools, views on pornography are often informed by religious beliefs for example, the Catholic Church reasons porn use does "grave injury to the dignity of its participants".

Assumption College has an internet blocking system preventing access to explicit content, and has developed guidelines for sexuality education that fall under the Daniel Morcombe Child Safety Curriculum.

A Department of Education spokesman said all state schools also use web filtering, and that pornographic material was banned at Warwick State High School under state law.

He said although it was mainly up to parents to educate children at an appropriate age, relationships and sexuality education could be addressed in the health and physical education curriculum.

"Comprehensive education covers a broad range of topics including sexual and reproductive health, relationships, growth and development, identity, and decision-making," he said.

"The department is unaware of students viewing explicit content while on campus, but sites that are typically blocked include those with pornography or mature content."

Do you think porn is an issue in schools?



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