Thu, Nov 22, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Porn without sex ed can mislead

BIRDS AND BEES Without adequate guidance and education, young people who view pornographic material may develop an inaccurate view of sex, speakers said

By Loa Iok-sin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Curious children and young adults can often be misguided by pornographic material if there is not enough adequate sex education to provide them with accurate information on the topic, speakers at a conference said yesterday.

About 100 teachers from elementary to high school levels and sex education researchers attended the conference jointly hosted by the Mercy Memorial Foundation (MMF) and the Taiwan Association for Sexuality Education (TASE) in Taipei yesterday.

Through a survey of 3,614 children and young adults from elementary school to college age, 65.4 percent said they had viewed or read materials with sexual content, such as pornographic films, pictures, comics, computer games or Web sites, TASE president Kao Sung-ching (高松景) told the audience.

"Most of the students surveyed cited curiosity as one of the reasons why they viewed such materials," Kao said. "And that's where an adequate sex education should intervene."

Intervention of sex education is necessary because "pornographic materials often present twisted information about sex and about interaction between people of different genders," Kao said.

Through a detailed survey, Kao found that one of the most dangerous pieces of misinformation that heavy pornographic material users "learned" from such material was the "rape myth."

"Some young adults think that rapes sometimes occur because victims seduce rapists -- they believe that some women actually subconsciously want to be raped," Kao said. "They think a woman doesn't really mean it when she says `no.'"

A documentary director, nicknamed Taco, who has filmed and directed Japanese pornographic videos said that everything is planned in such videos.

"The scenarios and the positions in a porno are all pre-arranged. We often use fake semen," he told the conference.

"The duration of the sexual act can be lengthened through editing and difficult positions usually don't render any pleasure -- actors just have to act as if they're enjoying it," he said.

"People can really have twisted views about sex if they `learn' from pornos," he said.

To provide curious students with accurate information about sex, the sex education curriculum must be open and honest, he said.

"Sex education is not just teaching about the reproductive organs," MMF chief executive Yen Han-wen (晏涵文) said.

Kao then showed the conference an example of a sex education curriculum that he designed.

In the curriculum, students will be involved in a discussion on how the two genders should treat each other according to social norms, as well as when it would be considered "normal" for people to hold hands, hug or kiss each other.

In the "where did I come from" section of the curriculum, Kao used cartoon strips to show how a man and a woman fall in love, get married, enjoy their married life and have sex, as well as how a child is born.

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