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Old 8th February 2018, 12:43 PM   #1
Arcade22
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In the absence of sexual education at schools, youth learn from porn

Quote:
Drew, who asked me to use one of his nicknames, was a junior when I first met him in late 2016, and he told me some of this one Thursday afternoon, as we sat in a small conference room with several other high school boys, eating chips and drinking soda and waiting for an after-school program to begin. Next to Drew was Q., who asked me to identify him by the first initial of his nickname. He was 15, a good student and a baseball fan, too, and pretty perplexed about how porn translated into real life. Q. hadn’t had sex — he liked older, out-of-reach girls, and the last time he had a girlfriend was in sixth grade, and they just fooled around a bit. So he wasn’t exactly in a good position to ask girls directly what they liked. But as he told me over several conversations, it wasn’t just porn but rough images on Snapchat, Facebook and other social media that confused him. Like the GIF he saw of a man pushing a woman against a wall with a girl commenting: “I want a guy like this.” And the one Drew mentioned of the “pain room” in “Fifty Shades of Grey” with a caption by a girl: “This is awesome!”

Watching porn also heightened Q.’s performance anxiety. “You are looking at an adult,” he told me. “The guys are built and dominant and have a big penis, and they last a long time.” And if you don’t do it like the guys in porn, Drew added, “you fear she’s not going to like you.”

...

“There’s nowhere else to learn about sex,” the suburban boy told me. “And porn stars know what they are doing.” His words reflect a paradox about sex and pornography in this country. Even as smartphones have made it easier for teenagers to watch porn, sex education in the United States — where abstinence-based sex education remains the norm — is meager. Massachusetts is among 26 states that do not mandate sex ed. And a mere 13 require that the material be medically and scientifically accurate. After some gains by the Obama administration to promote more comprehensive sex ed, which includes pregnancy prevention, discussions of anatomy, birth control, disease prevention, abstinence and healthy relationships, the Trump administration did not include the program in its proposed 2018 budget; it also has requested increased funding for abstinence education. Easy-to-access online porn fills the vacuum, making porn the de facto sex educator for American youth.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/07/m...education.html
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Old 8th February 2018, 01:36 PM   #2
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This is the sort of stuff that makes so much common sense, it would be all too easy to swallow wrong conclusions and recommendations hook, line and sinker.

I'd like some well designed studies on this with sufficiently numbered and randomized adolescent study groups.
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Old 8th February 2018, 01:51 PM   #3
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One thing I did not learn in sex education (in the early 80s) is anything at all about the act of having sex (other than medical-ish explanations), or how to treat women, or anything similar. I learned how to treat other people from my parents.

You mention birth control, abstinence and health being taught in school and then compare it with porn. You are comparing two different things.

Kids are not turning from school to porn to learn about sex because school doesn't teach how to have sex.

I thought this was going to be about the dangers of available porn, and I agree it may be unhealthy, but it seems like this is just a Trump thread. Trump ending certain sex ed funding is not pushing kids to porn.
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Old 8th February 2018, 02:14 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by mgidm86 View Post
One thing I did not learn in sex education (in the early 80s) is anything at all about the act of having sex (other than medical-ish explanations), or how to treat women, or anything similar. I learned how to treat other people from my parents.

You mention birth control, abstinence and health being taught in school and then compare it with porn. You are comparing two different things.

Kids are not turning from school to porn to learn about sex because school doesn't teach how to have sex.

I thought this was going to be about the dangers of available porn, and I agree it may be unhealthy, but it seems like this is just a Trump thread. Trump ending certain sex ed funding is not pushing kids to porn.
I agree, although I'm curious what the cancelled education about "healthy relationships" would have looked like.
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Old 8th February 2018, 02:16 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by blutoski View Post
I agree, although I'm curious what the cancelled education about "healthy relationships" would have looked like.
1. Make sure your co-star knows their safe word.
2. Make sure to respect the safe word when used.
3. Make sure your co-star gets paid on time and in full.

That's about as healthy as it gets, I think.

We're talking about porn relationships, right?
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Old 9th February 2018, 07:01 AM   #6
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I was 3 or 4 when my family and I moved to a mid-sized town in Idaho and we ended up staying there for about nine years before moving to Seattle. I was born in early '71 so the timeline I'm referring to is the late 70's through the 80's.

I have no recollection of any type of sex education before high school. There might have been some, but if there were it wasn't flashy or naughty enough for me to remember.

The only time I had been taught sex ed was in either my junior or senior year in high school, where it was one segment of a health class. That class covered many topics about humans — our bodies, our relationships, how to relate and have empathy for one another (for example, we all had to take turns wearing blindfolds and be led about the campus by another, sighted, student in order to give a small example of what it could be like for a blind person; I believe they even had a weight-suit but I'm not sure if anyone actually wore it in my class and since I was very overweight by that time anyway, I kinda already knew the stigma and bigotry aimed at fat people).

We had an in-class demonstration on how to properly apply a condom on a convenient banana; we discussed some gynecological issues as well as some male issues; along with the condoms we discussed other birth control methods too, like spermicidal foam, IUDs and so on.

My parents never gave me the birds and bees talk; I was given a book... *googles vague recollections and discovers...*

Wow! I actually found it! This was the book I was given when I was young and I read it occasionally and kept it on my bookshelf right along with all the other books that I kept and read. Didn't think anything of it; the book "How Babies are Made" just worked for me. I presume that my two older sisters were given this book too, though I never thought to ask my parents or sisters if this was the case.

So I understood sex from a relatively early age and got the specifics of the other stuff in high school that I wouldn't probably have understood until I was older anyway.

When my daughter was young, I was in a long-term disability care facility during those years that she would have gotten the Talk by her mother so I never had the opportunity to either talk to her or find a book similar to the one I got. I don't know why I, at the time, never considered the original "How Babies Are Made" book I once had and tried to obtain it for her. At any rate, however my daughter learned, I know she's been sexually active but responsibly so; a thing for which I'm eternally grateful.

Her mother is from the former Soviet Union (she and I met when I was tutoring her ESL class in college as a matter of fact) so I haven't the faintest idea of how they had approached her sex education nor do I really know if she ever passed knowledge down to our daughter.

As for porn, I had access to the usual Playboy magazines and Hustler (before they went hardcore) and similar rags (ha! Supercycle magazine was a favorite of mine because I could get my mom and dad to buy it for me — "hey mom, can I have this motorcycle magazine? It's got these cool Harleys in it!" Never mentioning the topless women riding the bikes of course...)

Good times.

Finally getting around to the OP, I'd really hesitate in saying that porn has taken over teaching our children's sex ed. I think porn is attractive because of what it is and not for any teaching value; I can't even think that it teaches anything at all that's positive. The kid in the article was getting serious anxiety because of the unrealistic portrayal of sex and I can empathize. That's a terrible position to be in (no pun intended this time). I can only imagine that the kind of pressure that the boy feels is similar to the pressure that girls feel about their bodies when compared to the unrealistic Hollywood beauty "standard".

But compare the run-of-the-mill porn and "How Babies Are Made" from the link above. There is no comparison. The videos are designed to provide simple and direct sexual gratification while the book is designed to explain the biological functions of how animals and humans procreate. Some people claim that the book's pictures are creepy or weird (again like the above linked article) but I never thought anything weird about it. Then again, what did I know? I was just a kid.
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Old 9th February 2018, 07:26 AM   #7
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My "sex ed" was the ABC Afterschool Special "My Mom's Having a Baby"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Mom%27s_Having_a_Baby
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Old 9th February 2018, 11:57 PM   #8
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Massachusetts doesn't mandate sex education?
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Old 10th February 2018, 12:31 AM   #9
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Sex ed from the two public service stations in Denmark:

Sexual Education: The Musical! (DR TV)
A new video to teach young people about sex. The old one was too embarrassing (TV2)
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Old 10th February 2018, 03:01 AM   #10
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Part of the problem is that until fairly recently (100 years) there wasn't really the need for sex education, people grew up with the knowledge all around them, whether that was via livestock or living with people who have sex. How do you think you'd get families of 10 and more living in 2 rooms without the older kids knowing how babies were made? We've never really worked out how to take that education into the classroom.

Don't think:
Class, Mrs Henders your maths teacher is trying to have a baby so we'll be going on a field trip to her home and we'll be watching how she and Mr Henders try to have a baby.
would get approval.
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Old 10th February 2018, 06:52 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Part of the problem is that until fairly recently (100 years) there wasn't really the need for sex education, people grew up with the knowledge all around them, whether that was via livestock or living with people who have sex. How do you think you'd get families of 10 and more living in 2 rooms without the older kids knowing how babies were made? We've never really worked out how to take that education into the classroom.

Don't think:
Class, Mrs Henders your maths teacher is trying to have a baby so we'll be going on a field trip to her home and we'll be watching how she and Mr Henders try to have a baby.
would get approval.
Of course, the teacher could bring in his wife for the sex-ed

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE


(NSFW)
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Old 10th February 2018, 11:17 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Part of the problem is that until fairly recently (100 years) there wasn't really the need for sex education, people grew up with the knowledge all around them, whether that was via livestock or living with people who have sex.
I think your timeline may be off. A century ago it was 1918, and a lot of people -- especially women-- were left to figure it out on their own, frequently a painful surprise on the wedding night. 1918 wasn't all farm folk, it was modernity and the Great War. Queen Victoria only died in 1901, the era of coyness didn't get overthrown at once, nor did everyone instantly lapse into simpler times and medieval "behold ye mare with ye stallion" sex ed!
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Old 10th February 2018, 06:15 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I think your timeline may be off. A century ago it was 1918, and a lot of people -- especially women-- were left to figure it out on their own, frequently a painful surprise on the wedding night. 1918 wasn't all farm folk, it was modernity and the Great War. Queen Victoria only died in 1901, the era of coyness didn't get overthrown at once, nor did everyone instantly lapse into simpler times and medieval "behold ye mare with ye stallion" sex ed!
Depends a lot on the country, no? I am sure some Victorian ladies were unprepared, but in vast other areas of the world things were not quite so civilized. In the USA as late as 1920, about 30% of the population lived on a farm. And those that didn't generally lived in the big cities, where the other job opportunities existed. The suburbs didn't arrive until after World War II.
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Old 10th February 2018, 06:28 PM   #14
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I think the more relevant thing would be to point out that kids are going to watch porn anyway, and in the absence of proper sex education that's all they have.
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Old 10th February 2018, 06:31 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I think the more relevant thing would be to point out that kids are going to watch porn anyway, and in the absence of proper sex education that's all they have.
This.

Even before the internet completely destroyed the concept of keeping porn away from children... children have always found a way.

Better to give them context and proper standards to balance it out.
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Old 11th February 2018, 08:34 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
This.

Even before the internet completely destroyed the concept of keeping porn away from children... children have always found a way.

Better to give them context and proper standards to balance it out.
Why not use porn industry with help of experts to produce sex-ed video series. They are already setup...
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Old 11th February 2018, 12:53 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Klimax View Post
Why not use porn industry with help of experts to produce sex-ed video series. They are already setup...
You're about a year too late with that suggestion.
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Old 11th February 2018, 01:13 PM   #18
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Wait, so what is the problem with porn as a guide?

Is the well built guy with stamina for days and the big penis better at sex than you? Yes.

Is the lady with fake boobs and willing to sperm swap with another lady better at sex than you? Yes.

I'm not better at football than von Miller. I'm not a better musician than Sia. Why should sex be different?
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Old 11th February 2018, 01:50 PM   #19
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I had no idea who Sia was until I googled her, but is it just a coincidence that she looks like a pornstar?
You may not have noticed, but unlike football sex isn't about winning! And pornstars probably aren't winners anyway, otherwise they probably wouldn't commit suicide quite as much as they appear to do.
Anyway, everybody knows that commies are better at sex than everybody else!
Kristen R Ghodsee: Why Women Had Better Sex under Socialism
Pornstars are just good at pretending!

As early as 1984, Danish head teacher, Annette Westrup, asked her students to bring their parents' porn magazines to school for sex ed.
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Old 11th February 2018, 02:03 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Not surprised...
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Old 11th February 2018, 03:50 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
You may not have noticed, but unlike football sex isn't about winning! And pornstars probably aren't winners anyway, otherwise they probably wouldn't commit suicide quite as much as they appear to do.
Anyway, everybody knows that commies are better at sex than everybody else!
Kristen R Ghodsee: Why Women Had Better Sex under Socialism
Pornstars are just good at pretending!

As early as 1984, Danish head teacher, Annette Westrup, asked her students to bring their parents' porn magazines to school for sex ed.

The problem is that the vast majority of porn isn't (and isn't intended to be) a good model for sexual technique.

To explain by analogy, think of the Wild Stallyns in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. They've listened to rock music so they know what it's supposed to sound like (that, in the analogy, is sex in pop culture, for instance as described in literature and depicted in non-porn movies and on TV), they've read the instruction manuals that came with their guitars (that's sex education, if you're lucky), and they've watched rock musicians perform on stage and can imitate their stage mannerisms (that's watching porn). But they can't actually play their instruments, and they sound terrible.

For instance, you will not learn any of this by watching porn (it's a song, safe for work):

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

...let alone any details. Fortunately there are good how-to books available.

And if you're thinking, "I never needed a stupid book; self-taught great lover here," there's a very good chance that you could be a hell of a lot better. Learn your craft, sir or madam.
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Old 11th February 2018, 04:32 PM   #22
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I'd be willing to bet that self-measure of sexual performance is right at the top of Dunning-Kruger effects.
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Old 11th February 2018, 04:51 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I think the more relevant thing would be to point out that kids are going to watch porn anyway, and in the absence of proper sex education that's all they have.
This. I don't think it's anything new except that my generation had to make do with magazines found in the local railway siding and the sex scenes that always appeared around late 115 of every James Herbert novel (fortunately, my school did provide sufficient sex-ed to clarify that giant rats weren't an obligatory part of the process).


Myriad: Great analogy, I think that sums it up perfectly.
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Old 12th February 2018, 07:09 AM   #24
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Things have changed somewhat since I was a lad back in the early 60s.. In Catholic high school. We actually had the very first sex-education classes given in the state. (Separated into boys and girls, of course...)
This was strictly “nuts and bolts” stuff.. “These are the naughty bits of a woman..”

No mention whatever of birth control or condoms, and plenty of emphasis on how sinful this was if you were not married. They also brought up masturbation (so that’s what I’d been doing!) and then did the ultimate buzz-kill by mentioning that it was a mortal sin...

Also no mention whatever about any sort of “alternate” sexuality...Which apparently to Catholics of the time didn’t exist.
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Old 12th February 2018, 07:29 AM   #25
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In America at least it would be impossible to to introduce any practical sex education into public schools since a good chunk of our population doesn't understand that it wouldn't cause an immediate outbreak of massive underage sex orgies.
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Old 12th February 2018, 07:37 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Arcade22 View Post
Quote:
more comprehensive sex ed, which includes pregnancy prevention, discussions of anatomy, birth control, disease prevention, abstinence and healthy relationships
Originally Posted by mgidm86 View Post
You mention birth control, abstinence and health being taught in school and then compare it with porn. You are comparing two different things.
Ya, I couldn't tell whether the original article's author thought the subject was those kinds of information, or how-to guides. I don't think anybody even imagines that porn would provide the former or school would provide the latter. This is like saying kids "turn to" video games to learn about war because of the lack of information about war in their history classes.

Originally Posted by mgidm86 View Post
One thing I did not learn in sex education (in the early 80s) is anything at all about the act of having sex (other than medical-ish explanations)
It took me a while reading this thread to remember that porn can be actor-employing staged porn, not just people with a camera pointed at them. Surely anyone who looks into porn even once or a few times will have to discover the latter, notice the differences, and pretty easily figure out that the real-life kind is more like real life.

Originally Posted by Arcade22 View Post
Quote:
Like the GIF he saw of a man pushing a woman against a wall with a girl commenting: “I want a guy like this.” And the one Drew mentioned of the “pain room” in “Fifty Shades of Grey” with a caption by a girl: “This is awesome!”
Originally Posted by mgidm86 View Post
One thing I did not learn in sex education (in the early 80s) is... how to treat women, or anything similar. I learned how to treat other people from my parents.
If you were warned early about women wanting treatment that amounts to abuse, your case is a thoroughly unusual one. It's normally such a weird late discovery that people even spend years afterward trying to deny it or find some way to explain it as somehow not being what it plainly appears to be. The only thing that's unusual about "Drew"'s dilemma over it is that he apparently thinks his dilemma is unusual.
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Old 12th February 2018, 10:29 AM   #27
CORed
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
1. Make sure your co-star knows their safe word.
2. Make sure to respect the safe word when used.
3. Make sure your co-star gets paid on time and in full.

That's about as healthy as it gets, I think.

We're talking about porn relationships, right?
Give the girl a towel after she's done with the money shot.
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Old 12th February 2018, 01:51 PM   #28
Dread Pirate Roberts
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
In America at least it would be impossible to to introduce any practical sex education into public schools since a good chunk of our population doesn't understand that it wouldn't cause an immediate outbreak of massive underage sex orgies.
I grew up in Oklahoma, a good chunk of it in a rural area, Bible Belt central. I'm talking a senior class of 30 or so. High school in the mid-80s. There was no sex ed that I can remember. But there was sex going on all over the place. About the only thing to do was get drunk/high and "park". The result was a slew of shotgun marriages. Each year, at least 3 or 4 girls ended up pregnant. Thing is, we all knew how to prevent that, but there was such a stigma to trying to buy condoms that people didn't take precautions and just rolled the dice. And forget about the girls getting on the pill. So at least in my experience lack of sex ed wasn't the problem, but the environment.

I suppose though that's your point. Parents just thought if you ignore it, it wouldn't happen. Even in the face of the undeniable evidence it was...
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Old 12th February 2018, 04:28 PM   #29
Myriad
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
If you were warned early about women wanting treatment that amounts to abuse, your case is a thoroughly unusual one. It's normally such a weird late discovery that people even spend years afterward trying to deny it or find some way to explain it as somehow not being what it plainly appears to be. The only thing that's unusual about "Drew"'s dilemma over it is that he apparently thinks his dilemma is unusual.

See, today's pop music just doesn't educate like it used to.

Well I met a girl at the rainbow bar
She asked me if I'd beat her
And she took me back to the Hyatt House
I don't want to talk about it…
- Warren Zevon, Poor Poor Pitiful Me
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Old 14th February 2018, 09:35 PM   #30
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This week has seen several sources speaking/writing about the OP title as subject. The general point seems to be that since kids are not getting much useful info about sex from parents or other (school/related) they are going to sources on the internet including porn sites. Bad for some, data for others is the general run of commentary.
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Old 16th February 2018, 12:22 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by fuelair View Post
This week has seen several sources speaking/writing about the OP title as subject. The general point seems to be that since kids are not getting much useful info about sex from parents or other (school/related) they are going to sources on the internet including porn sites. Bad for some, data for others is the general run of commentary.
Should have added that I heard about that on PBS - the radio one - Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon!
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