Almost one in three girls say they have been subjected to unwanted physical sexual advances whilst at school, according to the results of a troubling new survey.
The news comes amidst increasing concern over the growing ‘sexualisation’ and ‘pornification’ of today’s teenagers.
Around 800 16 to 18-year-olds were polled, and 29 per cent of the girls admitted to having been a victim of groping, kissing or touching while at school.
Approximately one in seven (14 per cent) of the boys questioned said the same.
The Prime Minister David Cameron has vowed to tackle the sexualisation of children.
The new report also disclosed that many teens admitted to facing regular verbal abuse, with 37 per cent of those questioned saying they had heard girls being called sexually derogative names on a daily basis.
And astonishingly only around three in ten young people questioned said they had never seen pornographic images on mobile phones during school hours.
Almost a quarter of those polled said teachers had never told them that unwanted advances such as touching or name-calling were unacceptable, while a fifth said they had never received information at school about sexual consent.
The poll was commissioned by the End Violence Against Women Coalition (EVAWC), which is calling on the Government to address violence against girls in schools.
Professor Liz Kelly, EVAWC chairman, said: “Not only is sexual harassment against girls at school routine, everyday and unquestioned, our results show that sexual assault is in fact commonplace in school environments.”
Earlier this year psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos, who published a Home Office report into the sexualisation of children, warned that exposure to porn was having an adverse effect on the lives of today’s teenagers.
In the report she said: “The evidence gathered in the review suggests a clear link between consumption of sexualised images, a tendency to view women as objects and the acceptance of aggressive attitudes and behaviour as the norm.
“Both the images we consume and the way we consume them are lending credence to the idea that women are there to be used and that men are there to use them.”
Last week a BBC Radio 4 programme revealed that teenagers are just one click away from a world of internet pornography.
“Search engines such as Google make pornography available to teenagers at the click of a mouse”, said Miranda Sawyer, the presenter behind the BBC documentary, Sex, Porn and Teenagers.
Last month children’s author Bel Mooney warned about the ‘pornification’ of teenage boys whose attitude to sex comes from viewing pornography on the internet.
In March teen girls hit out at modern liberal mums who do little to protect them from ‘pornified’ boys.
“I wish my parents would say I’m not allowed to be home alone with a boy”, said one 16-year-old girl.
“They make this big deal about ‘trusting us’, but that’s not helping me”, she said. “They have no idea what goes on, and I’m too embarrassed to tell them.”
Many teenage girls are being pressurised by their boyfriends to engage in sexual acts taken from pornographic films, according to research.
Journalist Penny Marshall, writing for the Daily Mail, disclosed harrowing stories of young girls who say demands from teenage boyfriends are often both “disturbing and upsetting”.
Miss Marshall said all the girls she interviewed were certain their boyfriends’ demands were being fuelled by what they were watching online: hardcore, explicit porn.
Last year research revealed that young girls were being physically abused and pressured into sex by their boyfriends.
Nearly nine in ten girls aged 13 to 17 had been involved in an “intimate” relationship, according to the survey of 1,353 young people which was carried out by the NSPCC and Bristol University.
Of those girls, one in six reported being pressured into having sex, while one in 16 said they had been raped.
A quarter of the girls had suffered physical violence such as being slapped, punched, or beaten by their boyfriends, the survey found.