Diane Abbott: ‘hyper-sexualisation’ damaging kids

Mon, 28 Jan 2013

Diane Abbott has warned that an “increasingly pornified” British culture is damaging young people, in a speech last week.

The shadow public health minister said the rise of sexual bullying is a result of “hyper-sexualisation”.

In comments released to the media before her speech, she said: “For so long, it’s been argued that overt, public displays of sexuality are an enlightened liberation.

Prison

“But I believe that for many, the pressure of conforming to hyper-sexualisation and its pitfalls is a prison. And the permanence of social media and technology can be a life sentence.”

Diane Abbott argued that families have a “duty” to make sure children have a healthy view of sexuality.

She said, “it’s a very specific form of sexuality that’s being imposed, on children and adults: a porn version. This is what kids are dealing with on a daily basis.

Aware

“Young people are accessing far harder pornographic images than 10 or 15 years ago.”

Claire Perry, David Cameron’s advisor on childhood, said parents must be more aware of what their children are seeing on the internet and on mobile phones.

She said: “We have to feel more empowered to ask. Make sure your kids allow you to be friends with them on Facebook, ask them whether what they are doing is appropriate.”

Empowered

Mrs Perry added: “We have got to be much franker, much more open and upfront about it. I don’t want it to sound like harking back to Victorian values, but parents should sit down with their kids and say ‘are you aware of what’s out there?’”

Last month, the Government said they will be making sure internet service providers prompt parents to install filters to protect their children.

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