There’s nothing like controversy and current events to kickstart conversation. Seize the day and get talking with your kids about these recent news stories…
NSPCC launch campaign in Plymouth on impact of pornography on children (Plymouth Live, 29/10/23)
“The Children’s Commissioner reports that half of kids have seen porn by age 13 and 27% by age 11, 38% accidentally, and 79% see violent porn before age 18. Many view porn as a normal part of adolescence and watch it to learn about sex or figure out their sexuality. In a survey in Plymouth of 319 kids, 79% had sent nudes and 89% had received them, with a teen saying: ‘We are desensitised. Another dick pic. Block.’ So the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) is starting a local campaign, which includes young people, to raise awareness and help reduce violence against women and girls (VAWG)”
TALKING POINT What do you hear from friends about their seeing porn? Read the article >
Hungary anti-LGBT law sees under-18s barred from World Press Photo exhibition (Guardian, 1/11/23)
“Kids under 18 have been barred from this year’s World Press Photo exhibition in Budapest, which gets 50,000 student visitors a year, after Hungary’s rightwing government decided that some photos violate a law against LGBT+ content. They show elderly LGBT+ people in the Philippines, who live together and are caring for each other as they age, dressed in drag and wearing make-up. The photographer, Reyes Morales, said they are ’icons and role models’”
TALKING POINT Why would these photos or LGBT+ content be banned? Read the article >
Gen Z Teens Want Less Sex on Screen, According to New UCLA Study (Variety, 25/10/23)
“Young people want fewer sex scenes on TV and in movies, says Teens & Screens 2023. This UCLA study interviewed 1,500 young people aged 10-24 but only ages 13+ were asked about sex and romance topics. 51.5% of teens would like to see more content around friendships and platonic (non-sexual) relationships, 44.3% felt that ‘romance in media is overused’, 39% want more depictions of aromantic and/or asexual characters, and 47.5% said that sex is not necessary to most TV shows and films. They also want to see ‘lives like [their] own’ – interestingly last year they wanted to see ‘lives unlike [their] own’”
TALKING POINT How do you feel about sex vs relationships scenes? Read the article >
Teens Willing To Give Parents Control of Their Social Media (Newsweek, 3/11/23)
“In a poll 1,500 American kids aged 13-17, 46% support parents giving consent for minors to create social media accounts (25% disagree). 56% support age verification to use social media platforms. These have been linked to young people’s mental health problems – which spiked in 2011, when social media became popular. Last year 38% of kids surveyed felt overwhelmed by the drama they see on social media, 31% felt pressure to post content that gets likes, and 23% said it made them feel worse about their life, with the harms more apparent for girls. Over 40 US states are suing Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, for using addictive features that harm children’ mental health”
Andrew Tate is affecting what kids believe about relationships (Mashable, 16/10/23)
“The ‘manosphere’ influencer Andrew Tate, a self-proclaimed misogynist charged with rape and human trafficking, is popular among boys. Sexist ‘alpha male’ content is having a chilling effect on children and young people’s beliefs about gender and relationships, says the Women’s Aid report Influencers And Attitudes: How will the next generation understand domestic abuse?. Of 1,000 kids aged 7-18 surveyed, 40% have seen Tate’s videos or posts (21% of 7-11s and 53% of 16-18s). Of kids aged 7-11, 27% of boys have seen them vs 13% of girls. Kids exposed to misogynistic contents were 5 times more likely to agree that ‘hurting someone physically is OK if you say sorry afterwards’ (19% vs 4%)”
TALKING POINT What appeals to boys about Andrew Tate’s content? Read the article >
And finally: to discuss…
Why Rihanna’s baby boy Riot Rose was dressed in pink in his first photos (Independent, 22/9/23)
Singer Rihanna and rapper A$AP Rocky, both age 35, posed with their sons RZA Athelston Mayers, 16 months, and Riot Rose Mayers, born on 1 August. Rihanna said about RZA…
“I like to dress him in things that don’t look like baby clothes.
I like to push it. I put him in floral stuff. I put him in hot pink. I love that.
I think that fluidity in fashion is best. I always shop in the men’s department, you know.”
She has many of her sons’ clothes custom-made, she says, because: “When you come up with something in your head, half the time it is not available because kids’ clothes are so… they’re sooo boring.
I’m like: ‘This is what y’all been doing to these people’s kids all along?’
One of my favourite outfits RZA has [a tartan kilt] is a miniature version of one of Rocky’s.”
An insider explained the reason behind Riot Rose’s name: “Not everyone knows this, but Rocky loves flowers – he loves having fresh flowers in the house, he loves decorating with flowers, and he even had real flowers in his grill once”
TALKING POINTS Why is pink associated with girls (you can look into the history of how it used to be a colour for boys)? What kinds of feelings and personality traits do you associate with pink? Have you ever seen a boy wear pink, lavender or purple? What do you think of the name Riot Rose? How do you think he will feel about his name and about this photo? Do you see “fluidity in fashion” around you?