Girls go along with sex acts, says teacher


Are children turning to pornography to educate themselves about sex? Are boys coercing girls to do things they later regret? A 24-year-old secondary school teacher tells the BBC she's shocked by the stories she hears from her teenage pupils.

Warning: This personal account contains some frank language.

"The language boys use to discuss sex and sexual acts is degrading and shows a lack of understanding of consent and the actual mutual respect required to have meaningful sex.

"The girls, equally, are taught not to respect their own bodies and don't comprehend the notion that they may be being used.

"There was one time when one of the girls, who was 14, was really upset and said to me, 'I sucked his dick and he doesn't love me - he told me he loved me and he doesn't.'

"That was the main thing that made me think these girls are being used.

"I don't think anyone can say a 14 or 16-year-old girl has performed these sex acts and enjoyed it - they just go along with it.

"They're going along with it at the time, it's almost like it's an honour that they're chosen, especially if it's a popular boy, almost like a validation of their appearance and attractiveness - or they think it is.

"I don't think these girls are aware of their vulnerability. I think these girls - 14 plus - will look back and think, 'Yeah, I was coerced into that.'

"They get themselves into a situation naively and then they're in too deeply.

Right to say 'no'

"You need to make the girls realise they are being objectified and used and make them aware they are vulnerable to this sort of thing.

"It's their right to say 'no' and that nobody should feel peer-pressured.

"If a boy doesn't want a photo of you or 'get with you' as they say, you're not attractive.

"It's a very sad state of affairs to have girls empowered by how boys think of them.

"It's as bad not to have had a boy take a sexual interest in you, in a 15-year-old's view, as it is to be constantly asked for photos.

"I think the boys are quite clever, they tend to go for the ones who can be manipulated - not all boys obviously.

Shaving pubic hair

"I was on break time duty and I heard a boy say 'I put my hand in her pants and it was like a forest and I was quick out of there.'

"It's the accepted norm amongst the girls that you shave it all off - a totally unspoken rule.

"That's a porn thing, where every single woman has got no pubic hair - I don't think you can say it's not.

"And if they're shaving improperly down there, they are putting their health at risk, for example, if they're using an old razor or a used one, they can increase their risk of infection.

"Schools do teach sex education, but it's focused on contraception, how not to get pregnant.

"It's not about loving meaningful relationships or about consent - that's not really covered.

"They know a lot about STIs [sexually transmitted infections] and condoms but not a lot about the meaningful aspect.

"I honestly think you've got to teach these kids more than about contraception.

"It needs a revolution. They need specialists coming in - teachers can see PHSE [personal, social, health and economic education] as a bit of an extra, they're certainly not specialists in it, it's an extra lesson or 20 minutes in form.

"A lot of teachers don't feel confident talking about these things.

"We're setting them up to go on to a porn website to learn about sex. I don't think they're going on there to get kicks, but to learn about sex and that obviously feeds into a whole societal thing.

An infected generation

"When I was at school there were problems with webcams and sex chats and msn messenger.

"But I can't remember boys talking about girls like this.

"I really don't know why it's spiralled.

"I think we can blame a lot of things on the porn industry, we can blame social media and the ease of access.

"But they're an infected generation that no longer sees the gravitas of sex."

Produced by Katherine Sellgren, BBC family and education reporter

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