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In Ten Short Years…

I grew up pre-internet but I’m in my early 30s so it doesn’t seem that long ago. I had the fortune of dodging porn culture in my developmental years. My parents, along with a number of wise older friends, instilled in me attitudes about love and sex that contributed to the happy and fulfilling adult life I now live. 

From a very early age I saw that my father and mother loved each other deeply.  Mum and Dad modelled how men and women should treat one another.  In their marriage they exhibited emotional support, unconditional commitment, passion, intellectual appreciation, and sexual faithfulness.  To their friends both male and female, Mum and Dad exhibited warmth, respect, and appreciation for each of their personal qualities.

When it came to teaching me about love and sex, Mum, Dad, and a number of wise friends taught me that the most important quality in a romantic partner is character, and that whilst a partner’s good looks are fun to enjoy, attraction to them alone is not enough for a truly loving and lasting relationship – especially since looks change over time.  They taught me that long term relationships are wonderful and rewarding, but that they do take hard work, patience, and a willingness to forgive. 

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Sexualisation of children and young people report (NSW)

This week was good news for Australia’s children. On November 16th 2016 the NSW Committee on Children and Young People released the report on the Sexualisation of Children and Young People

The report contained 10 recommendations however, the first 3 are particularly important to the work we are doing through Porn Harms Kids. Read the full report here

RECOMMENDATION 1 

The Committee recommends that the Advocate for Children and Young People monitor research into young people’s use of and attitudes towards pornography.

This is in line with one of our seven key points identified at our Symposium in February that stated: More extensive research should be conducted in Australia to fully explore and document the extent of this crisis.

RECOMMENDATION 2 

The Committee recommends that the Advocate for Children and Young People continue to work with the Office of the Children’s e-Safety Commissioner and industry stakeholders to explore opportunities to reduce children and young people’s exposure to pornography.

Last month, myself and Coralie met with the eSafety Office. We offered important feedback on the development of some of their resources to support parents in addressing pornography, as well as posed some pertinent questions regarding strategy. We look forward to continuing our relationship with the eSafety Office, with all indications being that they are very supportive of our work.

RECOMMENDATION 3 

The Committee recommends that the Attorney-General advocate for the adoption of opt-in internet filtering through the Council of Australian Governments Law, Crime and Community Safety Council

Again, good news for Australia’s children. In February, Porn Harms Kids also stated that All avenues must be pursued to explore possible solutions to this crisis, including education, voluntary efforts by relevant industries, and regulation.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child state that "Mass media… should not promote material that could harm children", Article 17; and "Governments should protect [children] from violence, abuse and neglect", Article 19. We believe that currently, the rights of the child are being not only overlooked, but totally violated.

We will continue to strongly advocate for and on behalf of children and thank you for your support. Next week in Federal Senate, a report will be handed down with findings from the Inquiry earlier this year: Harm being done to Australian children through access to pornography on the Internet. We are in close communication with key Senators and wait with anticipation as to what recommendations are put forward.

Parliamentary Reports are only as good as the force that motivates our government to respond and action the recommendations. It is through your continued support and by inviting others to join, that we will see the changes we desperately need for the safety and wellbeing of Australia’s children.

 

Israel blocks online porn to curb its 'damaging influence' on society

Government ministers in Israel have approved a bill that will force internet service providers operating in the region to censor "offensive" websites – including pornography – by default in an attempt to curb the "damaging influence" of such content to underage web users.

Under the current law, internet providers are required to provide content-filtering systems, much like those used by firms in the UK, that customers can turn on without charge. However, the legal changes would flip the switch to require users to instead opt-out of such a system.

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Popular music app ‘exposing kids to pornography, predators’

Thousands of Australian children have direct access to pornographic videos housed on a popular music app aimed at teens – and their parents are clueless to the dangers, a leading cyber safety expert has warned.

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Dr Anita Elias interviewed for The Porn Factor

Specialist in Sexual Medicine and Sex Therapy, Dr Anita Elias, speaks with Maree Crabbe about how she believes pornography is playing a role in the increase in young women presenting with painful sexual conditions.

Boys getting off on the debasement of girls: MTR in The Courier Mail

Opinion: Our kids exposed to an adult world

Melinda Tankard Reist

The Courier-Mail is to be commended for its series on the hypersexualisation of our young people — especially the impacts on children by allowing them to be exposed to porn even before their first kiss.

What has been documented here in the Generation Sext campaign is what I’m hearing everywhere I go.

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Pornification Of Our Nation

Recently four of the speakers from our 'Pornography and Harms to Children and Young People' symposium featured on a panel on Studio 10 to discuss the pornification of our nation. Maree Crabbe, Melinda Tankard Reist, Hugh Martin and Collett Smart appeared along with two young people, each addressing different aspects of how #PornHarmsKids. Please take a moment to watch it now. 

Review of the Malthouse Theatre's production of 'Gonzo'

Gonzo 21 September – 1 October

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The Malthouse Theatre’s production of Gonzo billed as the most talked about show this season promises to expose how porn is really affecting teenage boys, from their perspective. Teenage boys have grown up in a porn saturated world where the average age they start watching porn is 11 and where more than 87 billion videos were viewed last year on PornHub alone. So, who is better equipped to delve into the complex issues surrounding pornography and it’s effects on our culture than teenage boys themselves? 

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The disturbing rise of porn viewing by teens

Are teachers equipped to deal with the ills of society?

By Chelsea Attard 

A teacher’s role has always been much more than simply imparting the fundamental skills of reading, writing and arithmetic. In any one day a teacher might also play the role of counsellor, friend, mediator, life coach, guardian or confidant. Working directly with our future generations of adults, society places a large load on teachers’ shoulders. As new social issues emerge, we look to educators for answers. So in a society where explicit online material and drugs are of increasing concern, how are educators bearing the burden of keeping our students safe?

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Let’s treat porn as the public health hazard it is

Brain science is strengthening the case for a new approach.

The pornography industry defends its trade as a harmless personal choice, but increasingly it is seen as an addiction with consequences for public health and safety. Cordelia Anderson, a Minneapolis based educator who has worked extensively in the field of child sexual abuse and exploitation, is one of those making the case for treating porn as a public health issue. Here she responds to MercatorNet’s questions about this approach.

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