David Penberthy: The innocence of youth has been swallowed up by a cesspit of porn

Sunday Mail (SA), May 21, 2016

In part, David Penberthy, says:

As a parent, my main gripe with the Safe Schools issue had little to do with questions of sexual preference but more that it was predicated on the apparent primacy of sexual conduct in determining one’s identity, with its target audience including many very young people who do not engage in sexual conduct at all.

I could not care whether people are straight, gay, bi or devoted to a life of abstinence. No child should be made to feel isolated or vulnerable on the basis of their sexuality or identity. Kids will, hopefully, learn that at home, and their schools should remind them of the fact.

But the thing which annoyed me most about the Safe Schools agenda – specifically, the external resources it relied upon courtesy of radical outside organisations such as Minus 18 – was that some of the teaching modules went way beyond urging respect, tolerance and awareness.

They seem to be demanding sexual activity, or at least working on the presumption that everyone in class is sexually active, creating an environment where young people risk feeling like losers if they’re not.

At a time when so many kids are struggling to read and write, or develop a deep knowledge of history or geography, it seems bizarre that we will set aside much-needed taxpayer dollars for so-called “learning” modules on the Minus 18 website which canvass a range of sexual practices and which even make light of the prospect of catching STDs.

Every parent of teens and soon-to-be teens will tell you that the toughest gig in parenting these days is limiting the time the kids spend social networking. It is difficult to limit their use because computers are now so intertwined with the curriculum that there’s always an ostensibly valid reason to have the damn things in front of them.

The amount of time they spend online is a less-troubling issue than the prospect of what they will find – by accident or design – when they get there.

For girls, it means self-doubt, anxiety over their appearance, and a warped sense of how they should behave; for boys, it means a tawdry set of expectations for their interactions with women. And it has all been created by an adult world where even some of our nuttier educators are wholly defined by the question of what they choose to do with their private parts.

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David Penberthy, Sunday Mail (SA), May 21, 2016

Forget peak oil. The world has reached peak sex.

From Kim Kardashian’s arse to Miley Cyrus’s wrecking ball, from the ubiquity of hard-core porn and its unchecked consumption by teenage boys, to the culture of vanity which has seen the Instagram bathroom mirror selfie become a routine form of self-expression for teenage girls.

Sex is officially everywhere. It is the young who are the most vulnerable to the bombardment. The age at which people are encouraged to plunge into what was once regarded as the adult world of sex is coming down at an alarming rate.

The evidence shows that young people are plunging further and faster into that world. Their expectations of what that world offers, and demands, are being bent out of shape through the ready availability of digital sexual content in the most graphic and aberrant forms.

It was only a generation ago that losing your virginity was a really big deal. There was wild talk at my high school in the mid-1980s that some of the kids had done it.

Some of them undoubtedly had, the rest of them were lying, and the overwhelming majority of us, including me, didn’t get off the duck, to use a cricketing analogy, until we had finished school.

All of us were sexually aware but it was harder to find outlets for your carnal interests. If you could get your hands on a porno movie you felt like you’d won the lottery.

These days, you’re flat out getting through a routine Google search without stumbling across something which is every bit as pornographic as the contents of an old Playboy magazine. Indeed, in 2016, the idea of Playboy even being classified as porn seems quaint. These days, if you type the word porn into your computer, good luck finding anything on the net which isn’t infested with genuinely alarming filth, where sex is depicted at its most desirable when it involves force, adultery, groups, women who have just turned 18 (but don’t look like it), and is performed by any method other than what was once known as traditional.

Any parent with kids in upper primary and high school will know how obsessed they are with the web, and how much time they devote to following their favourite “Youtubers”, who video their own skits and monologues and often have followers numbering in the millions.

Many of them are very funny. Others are dills. Some of them are sexually obsessed dills who believe that their own sexual interests and appetites are the rightful subject of debate.

I watched one video with my kids which was a lame attempted joke about the assassination of John F. Kennedy. I asked the kids if they actually knew anything about Kennedy, about his role in the American civil rights movement, or how the world almost came to an end during the Cuban missile crisis.

They didn’t, and nor did this particularly talentless YouTuber, but the kids did know that the YouTuber in question was bisexual because he had produced videos discussing his enthusiasm for members of the same and opposite sex.

Seriously, who cares? Apparently everyone these days. If you’re not getting up to something of a sexual nature, you’re the odd one out.

When the Safe Schools argument blew up earlier this year, the more extreme left-wing and right-wing members of the Australian political class ran to their respective corners for the now-traditional box-on.

As a parent, my main gripe with the Safe Schools issue had little to do with questions of sexual preference but more that it was predicated on the apparent primacy of sexual conduct in determining one’s identity, with its target audience including many very young people who do not engage in sexual conduct at all.

I could not care whether people are straight, gay, bi or devoted to a life of abstinence. No child should be made to feel isolated or vulnerable on the basis of their sexuality or identity. Kids will, hopefully, learn that at home, and their schools should remind them of the fact.

But the thing which annoyed me most about the Safe Schools agenda – specifically, the external resources it relied upon courtesy of radical outside organisations such as Minus 18 – was that some of the teaching modules went way beyond urging respect, tolerance and awareness.

They seem to be demanding sexual activity, or at least working on the presumption that everyone in class is sexually active, creating an environment where young people risk feeling like losers if they’re not.

At a time when so many kids are struggling to read and write, or develop a deep knowledge of history or geography, it seems bizarre that we will set aside much-needed taxpayer dollars for so-called “learning” modules on the Minus 18 website which canvass a range of sexual practices and which even make light of the prospect of catching STDs.

Every parent of teens and soon-to-be teens will tell you that the toughest gig in parenting these days is limiting the time the kids spend social networking. It is difficult to limit their use because computers are now so intertwined with the curriculum that there’s always an ostensibly valid reason to have the damn things in front of them.

The amount of time they spend online is a less-troubling issue than the prospect of what they will find – by accident or design – when they get there.

For girls, it means self-doubt, anxiety over their appearance, and a warped sense of how they should behave; for boys, it means a tawdry set of expectations for their interactions with women. And it has all been created by an adult world where even some of our nuttier educators are wholly defined by the question of what they choose to do with their private parts.

Source: http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/opinion/david-penberthy-the-innocence-of-youth-has-been-swallowed-up-by-a-cesspit-of-porn/news-story/392f80ea9af3b36883068429355e0389

The Categories: Safe Schools Coalition