Alien sex view trapping young in 'porn prison'

Pornified Britain: Labour minister joins Tory calls for change
Pornified Britain: Labour minister joins Tory calls for change
Alex Stevenson By

Teachers and parents are losing the battle against the "porn version" of sexuality now "swamping" British life, Diane Abbott will say in a speech today.

The shadow public health minister will use a speech to the Fabian's Society women's network this evening to attack Britain's "hypersexualised" British culture.

She will blame the "invisible hand of the market" for the "warped" view of sex being normalised in British culture, allowing women to be objectified and homophobic bullying to become acceptable.

Abbott's concern is that young people are able to access harder pornographic images online than they were able to ten or 15 years ago.

Phones and the internet have left parents "powerless", she will say.

"I believe that for many, the pressure of conforming to hypersexualisation and its pitfalls is a prison. And the permanence of social media and technology can be a life sentence," she is expected to say.

"Parents and teachers have a duty to ensure that children develop a healthy view of sexuality, distinct from this porn version that is swamping and infiltrating British life. Because it's a very specific form of sexuality that's being imposed, on children and adults: a porn version. This is what kids are dealing with on a daily basis."

"We're seeing an alien, warped view of sex normalised into our culture, engrained by the invisible hand of the market."

Her comments follow a call from David Cameron's advisor on childhood, the Tory MP Claire Perry, for parents to check on their children's internet and mobile phone usage.

Perry proposed a range of measures to fight the change, including a better system for reporting inappropriate online behaviour, restricted access to 'lads' mags', labelling of airbrushed celebrity images and internet safety classes in school.

Now Abbott has joined her, with a speech later in which she will call for a sex education revolution.

"We must change the wallpaper of children's lives," she will add. "We cannot shield kids from the modern world. But we let open-minded family values shine through in our society."

Abbott denied "prudishness", instead simply arguing that girls should view Jessica Ennis as a more important role model than Paris Hilton.

The coalition has made little progress since Reg Bailey, the head of the Mothers' Union, published a review into the commercialisation and sexualisation of children in June 2011.

A government policy paper on sexual health has been delayed, while its review of personal, social, health and economics remains unpublished.

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