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Young People, Pleasure, and the Normalization of Pornography: Sexual Health and Well-Being in a Time of Proliferation?

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Abstract

It has been argued that pornography is the most prominent sex educator for young people today (Flood, M. (2010). Young men using pornography. In E. Boyle (Ed.), Everyday Pornography (pp. 164–178). Oxford: Routledge). Research indicates that first exposure to pornography can be as young as 11 years of age. There is evidence that exposure to pornography is shaping young people’s sexual expectations and practices (H€aggstro ̈ m-Nordin et al. 2005). Many young people are learning what sex looks like from what they – or their partner or peers – observe in pornography. Significantly, pornography is normalizing sex acts that most women do not enjoy and may experience as degrading, painful, or violating. This raises serious implications for young people’s capacity to develop a sexuality that incorporates mutual pleasure, respect, and negotiation of free and full consent. While the results are complex and nuanced, research into the effects of pornography consumption provides reliable evidence that exposure to pornog- raphy increases aggressive attitudes and behavior towards women for some viewers (Malamuth et al. Annual Review of Sex Research 11, 26–91, 2000). Pornography consumption also has been found to be associated with sexual health risk taking and can impact negatively on body image and sense of self (Dean, L. (2007). Young Men, Pornography and Sexual Health Promotion, MA Research, Brighton University, Brighton, in possession of the author), and as such is a serious health and well-being issue, particularly for young women. This chapter explores preservice teachers’ reactions to pornography educa- tion using two examples from teaching of an elective Teaching Sexuality in the Middle Years, in 2011. These examples explore the complex emotions such teaching can generate and the challenges faced by preservice teachers when they are encouraged to confront the gendered and violent consequences of the normalization of pornography in a coeducational setting.
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... Philosophical interest can be seen much in pornography centers on whether pornography should be controlled. Significant debates arise as to whether pornography is best understood as speech, an action, or a speech act (Harrison, and Ollis, 2015). Watching pornography may be a healthy phenomenon if it is occasional, not impairing the personal and social life. ...
... Philosophical interest can be seen much in pornography centers on whether pornography should be controlled. Significant debates arise as to whether pornography is best understood as speech, an action, or a speech act (Harrison, and Ollis, 2015). Watching pornography may be a healthy phenomenon if it is occasional, not impairing the personal and social life. ...
... Rather than a human sexuality curriculum that only provides information, learners' self-assessment of their own attitudes, reactions, and thoughts about human sexuality are indeed important. Such reflective process has been noted to increase the complexity of learners' attitudes related to human sexuality (Harrison & Ollis, 2015), which can lead to greater sexual health and wellbeing of learners (and in particular adolescent learners). Such self-reflection can occur in the form of "reaction logs," or small journal entries about topics related to sex that are in response to specific prompts (e.g., "What are your thoughts about watching pornography? ...
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The need for multicultural education to analyze human sexuality education is an area of critical need in research and practice. Many current human sexuality learning experiences contain practices that are shaming to learners, producing values that problematize sexuality. The author of this chapter introduces a sex-positive approach to human sexuality education, honoring multicultural education by intentionally understanding sex-positivity outside of a White, western context. Implications of this approach for education research, practice, training, and advocacy are discussed.
... Rather than a human sexuality curriculum that only provides information, learners' self-assessment of their own attitudes, reactions, and thoughts about human sexuality are indeed important. Such reflective process has been noted to increase the complexity of learners' attitudes related to human sexuality (Harrison & Ollis, 2015), which can lead to greater sexual health and wellbeing of learners (and in particular adolescent learners). Such self-reflection can occur in the form of "reaction logs," or small journal entries about topics related to sex that are in response to specific prompts (e.g., "What are your thoughts about watching pornography? ...
Chapter
The need for multicultural education to analyze human sexuality education is an area of critical need in research and practice. Many current human sexuality learning experiences contain practices that are shaming to learners, producing values that problematize sexuality. The author of this chapter introduces a sex-positive approach to human sexuality education, honoring multicultural education by intentionally understanding sex-positivity outside of a White, western context. Implications of this approach for education research, practice, training, and advocacy are discussed.
... Rather than a human sexuality curriculum that only provides information, learners' self-assessment of their own attitudes, reactions, and thoughts about human sexuality are indeed important. Such reflective process has been noted to increase the complexity of learners' attitudes related to human sexuality (Harrison & Ollis, 2015), which can lead to greater sexual health and wellbeing of learners (and in particular adolescent learners). Such self-reflection can occur in the form of "reaction logs," or small journal entries about topics related to sex that are in response to specific prompts (e.g., "What are your thoughts about watching pornography? ...
Chapter
The need for multicultural education to analyze human sexuality education is an area of critical need in research and practice. Many current human sexuality learning experiences contain practices that are shaming to learners, producing values that problematize sexuality. The author of this chapter introduces a sex-positive approach to human sexuality education, honoring multicultural education by intentionally understanding sex-positivity outside of a White, western context. Implications of this approach for education research, practice, training, and advocacy are discussed.
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