New report shows rising sexualisation and abuse of children
A new report has found that children are increasingly being drawn into internet pornography, sending sexual text messages to their friends and even acting out scenes they have seen in pornographic films.
The report, released by the charity 'Family Lives', found that teachers and parents are struggling to cope with the problem of children viewing pornography, and highlights the need to address sexual exploitation and abuse among children.
The report states that pornography has led to a culture of ‘hypermasculinity’ amongst boys, and has fuelled the idea that “scantily clad girls deserve to be raped” and that violence against women is acceptable.
The report also reveals that younger children are increasingly at risk of sexual abuse, particularly from their peers.
It states: “We know that this is a growing problem and as more cases of early sexual violence appear and throw light on the problem of peer-on-peer abuse, it is important to highlight this seldom discussed problem and work towards measures to tackle it.”
Recently a 12 year old was spared jail after raping a nine year old girl after watching hard-core pornography.
Deputy Children’s Commissioner, Sue Berelowitz, said:
“We’ve had boys say to us – some of the boys I’ve spoken to who’ve been involved in sexual exploitation – “it was like being in a porn movie”.
“They have watched things and then they’ve enacted them. It has definitely affected children’s thresholds of what they think is normal.
“There isn’t a town, village or hamlet in which children are not being sexually exploited”.
The report found that many parents were unaware of the technology their children were using or the websites they were visiting.
It found that only a third of parents had spoken to or intended to speak to their children about internet pornography.
The report mentions many examples where parents found themselves unaware of what their children were up to, including a father who discovered that his eleven year old daughter was exchanging sexual images with a fourteen year old boy and accessing pornography sites.
The Head of Policy at Family Lives, Claire Walker, told The Telegraph:
“Some of the things that we are aware of going on such as sexting and digital abuse – this is not just in urban schools or in state schools it is everywhere.
“Coupled with parents’ reluctance to talk to their children about internet pornography, parents and schools struggle to keep up with technological advancements.
“Teachers don’t always know how to deal with it and parents, on the whole, probably don’t know it is going on.”