The Truth about Pornography: an effective sex education?

In this Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017, photo, a man looks at a poster in the window of Show World Center, one of Times Square's last surviving pornography businesses, in New York. The city's two-decade legal war on storefront businesses like this one may have reached a new tipping point. While many of the grimy attractions were swept out of years ago, especially ones in retail-filled, neon-lit Times Square, the state's highest court recently issued a ruling that could force the surviving ones to shut down. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

The New York Times has released a post titled “What Teenagers Are Learning from Online Porn” in which the author describes a sex education program funded by local public-health agencies in Southern Boston. There is a course of this program named The Truth about Pornography in which students could discuss the how gender, sexuality, aggression, consent, race, queer sex, relationships and body images are portrayed in porn or any pornography products in a critical way for five weeks.

The official title of the course is “A Pornography-Literacy Curriculum for High School Students Designed to Reduce Sexual and Dating Violence”, which is a recent addition to Start Strong, a peer-leadership program for teenagers headquartered. This course has been opened by an associate professor at Boston University’s School of Public Health since 2016, with about 20 high school students taking it every year, and most of them are African-American or Latin-American.

The students would be asked to define porn terms such like B.D.S.M., kink, soft-core, hard-core in the first class of Start Strong in order to have a consensus for discussion. Afterwards, the lecturer would let students “values vote” — agreeing or disagreeing about whether the legal viewing age of 18 for porn is too high, if working in the porn industry is a good way to make money and if pornography should be illegal and also talk about the cultural value of beauty and figure how to change with time and the possible intimacy that doesn’t show in pornography.

In the third week, the lecturer Nicole Daley would like to undercut porn’s allure for teenagers by exposing the underbelly of the business. Daley detailed a midlevel female performer’s salary from the 2008 documentary “The Price of Pleasure”. “Blow job: $300,” Daley read from a list. “Anal: $1,000. Double penetration: $1,200. Gang bang: $1,300 for three guys. $100 for each additional guy.” At the same time, Daley also explain to the students when answering that the one of the few professions in which men are paid less, but men’s career life is longer than women’s which averagely lasts 6 to 18 months.

In order to make the students vicarious, Daley asked the teenagers participating in the class to pretend that they were one of the challengers in a reality television, and they have to decide if they were willing to participate in certain challenges and for how much money. In one scenario, you would kneel on the ground while someone poured a goopy substance over your face. In another, you’d lick a spoon that had touched fecal matter. Most of students didn’t accept these kinds of challenges with price lower than 2 million dollars.

Daley explained that two scenarios are both actually a simulation of a porn act, and she quoted a 2010 study that coded incident of aggression in porn videos, noting that 88% of scenes showed verbal or physical aggression, mostly spanking, slapping and gagging; meanwhile, in more than 90% of scenes, women were the on the receiving end of the aggression.

The one who opened this course Rothman stated with the reality that most teenagers do watch porn so she took the approach that teaching them to analyze its messages is far more effective than simply wishing our children could live in a porn-free world.

According to Bryant Paul, an associate professor at Indiana University’s Media School, on average, boys are around 13, and girls are around 14, when they first see pornography. Later, the columnist Ross Douthat released a piece of comment titled Let’s Ban Porn, considering the pornography products should be placed restrictions and examined before hitting the market.

In addition, the U.S. Kansas Senate voted to condemn porn which results in Materialization of female and erectile dysfunction on Feb 6. Senators passed a resolution in a 35-4 vote after little debate. The resolution, which has no legal effect, comes a year after the House approved a similar measure.