Dangerous impact of porn on Leeds’ young people

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THE DANGEROUS impact that porn and sexual imagery can have on young people will be discussed at a hard-hitting workshop in Leeds.

Adults working with children across the city will attend the session, which is aimed at teachers, youth workers and other professionals who work with young people.

The fully-booked event tomorrow will discuss the effect of increased access to explicit material due to the internet, social media and mobile phones, as well as its effect on youngsters’ health and relationships.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member for children and families, said: “We know children and young people want to learn about issues such as body confidence, love and sexual attraction, how to respond to peer pressure and how to behave in a relationship.

“We also know the vast majority of parents of secondary aged pupils want to see issues around pornography addressed appropriately in school.

“I am delighted we are making progress on this in Leeds.”

The workshop will be held at Technorth in Chapel Allerton tomorrow, and will provide information based on recent research and explore different motivations young people may have for accessing sexualised imagery.

The training also aims to reduce any fear or anxiety adults may feel in broaching such issues with young people.

Taylor Austin-Little is a young person’s outreach worker at Leeds-based charity Genesis.

She said: “The impact of porn is absolutely a problem at the moment, having an effect on body confidence, self esteem and issues around consent.

“The things young people are being exposed to online is quite extreme and is seen as the norm.

“Porn is a really skewed and dangerous field to be exploring and we want them to view it with a critical mind and realise it is just a movie and not real life.

“It affects young men and women and they are growing up with warped ideas about what their bodies should be and what consensual sex is.”

She added: “We applaud Leeds City Council for doing something like this session.”

For help and advice, visit www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents. Young people can also call Genesis on 0113 243 0036.

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