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Should pornography be discussed in school?

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Summary

Parents do kids a disservice by pretending porn doesn't exist: Sex Therapist

Unrealistic view of sex can lead to anxiety, disappointment and embarrassment: Sex Therapist

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – It’s all over the Internet anyway, so instead of ignoring it, a sex expert says pornography should be discussed in school. A local sex therapist thinks the subject should be included in the sex education curriculum.

Most adults know that what you see in porn isn’t usually congruent with the actual experience of a healthy sex life. Sex Therapist Jason Winters says parents do kids a disservice by pretending porn doesn’t exist. “It distills down the most intense part of a sexual encounter into a 30-minute clip or a 20-minute clip. So it doesn’t show the entire context in which sex typically happens. The conversations that lead up to sex. Things like consent, the flirting the emotional connection. Even if it’s a casual sex type situation, it’s contextualized in a relationship of some sort. This generally is missing from pornography.”

So when sex doesn’t live up to this fantastical standard, Winters says it can lead to anxiety, disappointment and embarrassment.

Winters says discussing pornography wouldn’t be the first step in a conversation about sex. Ideally, talking about sex, in general, should start much earlier. The subject of pornography should be introduced once the dialogue on the subject and a level of comfort is established. “It can be introduced along the lines of you may have encountered this while you’ve been surfing the web. Most people do. This might have caused you some curiosity. It might have caused you to become aroused. These are very typical responses, but now we need to have a conversation about what it is you’re seeing and what it really means.”