Updated: Thursday, 19th September 2019 @ 4:44pm

Let's talk about sex: Manchester therapist warns parents of porn and lack of education for youngsters

Let's talk about sex: Manchester therapist warns parents of porn and lack of education for youngsters

| By Koray Erol

A Manchester-based psychosexual therapist is concerned that British youngsters are damaging themselves by encountering pornographic images.

Anne Aitken, who is also a relationship therapist, has warned parents about pornography and slammed the lack of sex education in the UK.

“Pornography gives teenagers a distorted view about sex. I don’t think youngsters should be watching porn, because it’s most certainly more harmful than beneficial for viewers,” she said.

“However, if they knew more about sex, which is about attachment and connection above physical actions, they wouldn’t be as interested in watching pornography”

According to an NSPCC ChildLine survey, one in five youngsters has seen shocking, explicit or pornographic videos or images.

The children’s charity also revealed that more than one in ten (12%) children surveyed have admitted that they had made or taken part in at least one sexually explicit video.

Ms Aitken said: “I think children are quite lost right now about what sex is and what isn’t. They see it as an act that needs to be done to be accepted within their peer group.

“Youngsters treat sex like it’s a way of becoming a ‘cool’ kid rather than understanding the meaning of it. It’s very sad for the young people.”

She pointed out that it is extremely important for parents to talk to young people about sex, relationships, consent, love and respect.

“I think the problem in Britain is that parents don’t talk to their children about sex and relationships or anything these two require,” she said.

“There needs to be more sex education in schools and that means sex education about relationships too, because these young teenagers are being taught nothing about relationships.

“The way our future generations are heading about relationships is very concerning.”

A survey of university students by American academic Spencer B. Olmstead about the use of pornography in relationships revealed that 70% of men and 45% of women said they would watch porn in future romantic relationships.

More than a fifth (22%) of men and over a quarter (26%) of women voted that pornography had no place in a romantic partnership.

Ms Aitken, a former NHS therapist, added: “Pornography is okay as long as partners are open about it but if the man or the woman is doing it in secret then it causes difficulties in their relationship.

“Watching porn can also cause erectile dysfunction because men are getting very highly aroused by the images they are watching and real sex isn’t always exactly like that. Their expectations will increase and that can cause sexual difficulties in their relationships.

“Overall pornography is a lot more harmful than beneficial for viewers.”

Picture courtesy of Creative Commons, with thanks.