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posted by azrael on Tuesday July 08 2014, @06:20PM   Printer-friendly
from the educate-or-keep-them-ignorant? dept.

The Daily Mail reports that children in the UK may receive school lessons about sexting.

Children as young as nine could be taught in school about the dangers of sexting.

New sex education packs produced by a charity warn girls not to send 'sexy and pouting' pictures using their mobile phones.

They suggest telling children of seven not to email photos of themselves in swimming costumes in case they fall into the hands of paedophiles.

The article goes on to say:

The lessons are part of a pack, launched last week, that schools can download for £299 a year.

Norman Wells, director of the Family Education Trust, said it was 'symptomatic of a mindset that thinks young children should take responsibility for their own safety, when in reality it is the job of parents to protect them'.

He added: 'To address such issues in the classroom runs the risk of introducing ideas and thoughts that many children are not ready for. In some cases [it] is likely to breed an unhealthy distrust and suspicion of adults.'

Meanwhile, UK polticians are calling for lessons to "tackle the rise of sexist abuse fuelled by internet porn" and the UK, Australia and the Philippines are currently engulfed in pedophile scandals.

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by jimshatt on Tuesday July 08 2014, @07:24PM

    by jimshatt (978) on Tuesday July 08 2014, @07:24PM (#66136) Journal
    My daughter of 9 doesn't have a smartphone but some of her classmates do and she does have a tablet. The whole sexy pictures thing isn't in her mindset at all ATM, but it differs from person to person (I say person because I think boys should be equally protective of their private parts).
    Since there have been things happening around the school my children are on, I don't think it would hurt talking about stuff like this. But subtlety is *very* important. It's a very difficult task to keep your children innocent whilst also trying to protect them and make them aware of the need to protect themselves.

    Of course, privacy in general is a hugely important subject that should be touched in school and at home. But saying "don't teach about sexuality (including modern communication thereof), teach about privacy" is unproductive. They are not mutually exclusive.
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  • (Score: 3) by LoRdTAW on Tuesday July 08 2014, @08:40PM

    by LoRdTAW (3755) on Tuesday July 08 2014, @08:40PM (#66182) Journal

    You want to hear something unsettling: My innocence was gone at age 9.
    When I was around 9 a family moved into the corner house. A mother, father and girl my age. We became friends and played a lot. But soon after the start she always wanted to make out, kiss, so we did. I never understood it but I went along with it. One odd thing she wanted to pretend play was that we were having an affair. I didn't even understand what affair was, I thought it was like a country fair or carnival. At the time I knew it was naughty and bad but I liked it. I remember us looking looking through her dads porno mags and found a box of prono in the parents bedroom (cant remember if we watched any of the videos, I think we were too scared of getting caught). We never had intercourse, but there was sexual exploration including masterbation. It peaked when the two of us would lie in her bed completely naked embraced, kissing and massaging each others privates (her parents didn't come home until 6pm). We were 10 at the time. Shortly thereafter her father transferred to a job in pennsylvania so they quickly moved. Lesson: girls can be just as curious and instigate. From memory her parents seemed normal, they were always nice to me but that was a long time ago. But I believe there were issues going on that I was too young to understand or pick up. If she had not moved I suspect we would have been having sex at age 10/11. A parents nightmare.

    My advice is to give your kids the talk, even at 8 or 9.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 08 2014, @10:24PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 08 2014, @10:24PM (#66233)

      My advice is to give your kids the talk, even at 8 or 9.

      The Talk should occur at the first signs of puberty, regardless of age. Hormones make people do things on autopilot, and even they may not understand why they're suddenly so interested to the opposite (or same) sex, but they will quickly discover that the things they've no doubt started to do to themselves when that interest starts is a lot better when done with another person. Denying it and chastising it and saying its a Bad Thing will only lead to trauma, teenage pregnancies, and possibly diseases that they'll live with for the rest of their life without even understanding whats going on.

  • (Score: 2) by egcagrac0 on Wednesday July 09 2014, @11:54AM

    by egcagrac0 (2705) on Wednesday July 09 2014, @11:54AM (#66457)

    saying "don't teach about sexuality (including modern communication thereof), teach about privacy" is unproductive

    I envision the instruction going something like this: "People you don't know will be watching what you say and do on the (phone/tablet/computer). I understand you might want to show a particular someone some pictures, but are you ready for that person to share them with everyone else? Are you ready for strangers to see your pictures, too?"

    If you were aiming at me with the "don't teach about sexuality, teach about privacy" bit, I want them to teach both. If the focus is on "don't send pictures of your butt", they might miss out on the important broader concept - don't send what you don't want monitored (which may very well include pictures of your butt).

    I am not trying to shield my daughter and keep her innocent. I'm trying to prepare her for the world. She's 3 at the moment, and still at that stage where she thinks it's cute to run around with her butt out. We're working on "don't take your butt out at Grandma's, leave it put away" at the moment, while trying not to scare her of nudity in general. Situational propriety is the goal, but... she's 3, and she has a habit of stripping down, running into the living room, waving her butt at everyone, smacking it a few times, and scampering away giggling.

    On the upside, she's not posting it online.

    • (Score: 2) by jimshatt on Wednesday July 09 2014, @06:51PM

      by jimshatt (978) on Wednesday July 09 2014, @06:51PM (#66667) Journal

      On the upside, she's not posting it online

      No, but you are! ;-P
      But, yes, I was aiming at you, because you used the word "instead" instead of the word "besides" that you apparently mean. And I agree.