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Extreme pornography fuelling "widespread" sexual harassment in schools, Christian MP warns

Tue 13 Sep 2016
By Aaron James

A Christian MP has said extreme pornography is fuelling the "widespread" sexual harassment of girls in schools.

Gavin Shuker, Labour MP for Luton South, was speaking after a Commons committee he belongs to found groping, name calling and bullying are part of "everyday life" for schoolgirls but is sometimes being dismissed by teachers as "just banter".

The Women and Equalities Committee report warned some pupils, including those in primary school, were being exposed to hard core pornography and the images they saw were twisting their views on sex and relationships.

The Committee heard the "slapping of bums and flicking [lifting up] of skirts" was common while one teacher told how they had had "many young girls sobbing and humiliated in my office because partially naked images have gone viral".

It found there were more than 5,500 recorded cases of sexual harassment in English schools in the last three years, including 600 rapes.

The Committee's calling for:

- Sexual harassment to be recorded differently, so more cases are detected

- Ofsted to assess the safety of the school, not just it's academic performance

- Sexual education to include relationships and consent education

Speaking on Premier's News Hour Gavin Shuker said: "In the normalisation of seeing pornographic images... there is a culture from some teachers that think: 'Shocking as that is, that is just what kids will get up to now'. That's something that needs to be challenged.

"These young people are becoming adults incredibly quickly, which is why there needs to be an appropriate response in schools but there also needs to be a change in the culture."

Speaking about the impact sexual harassment can have on young girls, Maggie Ellis, a Christian and accredited psychosexual therapist at the charity LifeCentre, told Premier Christian Radio: "It affects people hugely.

"It turns us into physical objects rather than whole human beings. Particularly at that teenage age group, when we're developing and very self-conscious about our changing bodies, it puts an over-emphasis on 'you are your body, not your persona.

"It also cheapens sex, [it] makes it something that's a commodity, that's available to others without consent and that sets a terrible precedent."

Listen to Premier's Alex Williams speaking to Gavin Shuker on the News Hour:

Listen to Premier's Alex Williams speaking with Maggis Ellis from the LifeCentre charity:


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