If you have a teenager, please sit them down and make them watch this

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Weekly Preview -

IWAS a lit­tle wor­ried about what I was putting into the DVD player with the ti­tle of this, but at the risk of sound­ing like one of those alarmist pro­mos for To­day Tonight and A Cur­rent Af­fair, this re­ally is one show ev­ery par­ent should watch.

It ad­dresses one of our ma­jor ta­boos— teenagers and sex— and un­der­lines the point that if you’re not teach­ing your kids about sex, they’re learn­ing it some­where else.

And these days, that place is pornog­ra­phy.

A Bri­tish sur­vey found that 30 per cent of kids are learn­ing about sex from porn, with the av­er­age age to first view it just 11 years old.

And we’re talk­ing hard­core porn, too.

Some of the sex acts the teenagers say they’ve seen is dis­turb­ing . . . and the warped at­ti­tudes they’re pick­ing up about the op­po­site sex and what ‘‘ nor­mal’’ bod­ies look like are just ghastly.

The show heads to Sher­ing­ham High School in Nor­folk for this spe­cial, where one-third of the stu­dents are al­ready hav­ing sex.

They bring in five ex­traor­di­nar­ily brave mod­els, who pa­rade naked for the kids amid not as many gig­gles as you’d ex­pect.

The boys seemed shocked by the nat­u­ral ap­pear­ance of the women. It seems they do not look like the bod­ies they see on the in­ter­net.

‘‘ They don’t look nor­mal,’’ one boy says of a set of un­en­hanced boobs. The nor­mal he’s re­fer­ring to are the fake ones he sees on­line.

But it is the im­pact porn is hav­ing on the teenage girls that is most trou­bling. Four out of five girls are un­happy with their breasts, and 20 per cent say they would con­sider implants.

The num­ber of times girls talked about what boys would like is truly wor­ry­ing.

‘‘ They pre­fer that so you kind of want to make them happy, do what they want you to do, so you don’t put them off,’’ one girl says about get­ting a Brazil­ian wax.

‘‘ You feel the pres­sure to change to im­press boys.’’

It’s a con­cern that seems well-founded af­ter one boy proudly states ‘‘ I would tell her to get rid of it’’ — if he dated a girl who was au nat­u­rale down­stairs.

If you have a teenager, please sit them down and make them watch this.

Sex con­ver­sa­tions are never easy, but this is an is­sue that clearly needs to be dis­cussed. show host Anna Richardson.


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