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Anti-porn laws and regulations

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More than seventy countries around the world are dedicating a day to Internet safety, an initiative created by the European Union. More than 100 institutions participated in the Safer Internet Day activities in Germany, which aim to support and coordinate initiatives that promote and encourage a measured and safe use of the Internet among young people. If previous editions have focused on cybermobbing and data protection, this year the theme is “Puberty 2.0: growing up in a sexualized world”.

Today’s youth are often referred to as the “Porno Generation”, as it is assumed that their search for “naked facts” is relentless. The reality, however, is not as clear as this statement. How to handle this issue efficiently and carefully is handled by the European klicksafe project, in which both teachers and students collaborate.

Talking about porn is not easy

Talking about the subject generates tension and silence reigns when it comes to discussing it. In the age of the Internet, where pornography and eroticism are more than ever at hand, the treatment of the subject is still surprising.

According to a recent study, 70 per cent of boys report having seen pornography on the Internet; among girls the percentage is 57. However, according to specialists and those involved, it cannot be concluded from this that boys are addicted to sex.

The experience of young people

Younes, an 18-year-old boy from the German city of Kiel, has often faced prejudice in this regard, working as a telephone consultant in Nummer gegen Kummer, an office where young people can call to tell their concerns and is part of the Klicksafe project.

“It is true that youth is thought to be damaged. That is why an initiative such as klicksafe is useful to promote the exchange with society. We hope that they will stop pointing the finger at young people and start to detect the reasons for the consumption of pornography,” says Younes.

Katja, a 17-year-old from Landau, says that when it comes to sexuality and pornography, communication between adults, teachers and young people leaves something to be desired. “I think adults are afraid to know what young people think about pornography. They think they’d have to protect us and that we’re growing up badly. The problem among young people is the pressure they feel when they consume such a product,” Katja says.

Let’s talk about pornography

To facilitate dialogue, new teaching materials have been developed within the framework of klicksafe. “Let’s talk about pornography,” it’s called one of the pamphlets, in which it goes to the point.

For Birgil Kimmel, the author of the teaching materials, it is wrong to call today’s young people the “porn generation”. In his opinion, the issue should be dealt with more objectively. “Adults and educators have to make it clear to children that pornography is about a staged sexuality that has little to do with reality, in which feelings have much to do with it.

Don’t leave them alone

“If pornography and cosmetic surgery are accepted in society and if casting shows determine the scale of our young people’s values, we are called upon to act responsibly,” says J├╝rgen Brautmeier, director of the North Rhine-Westphalia Media Union, at the presentation of klicksafe. “We cannot leave young people alone, we must help them to reflect on their experiences with the current media and to process them,” he says.