An alarming picture of teenagers in the grip of pornography, as depicted by the Rape Crisis Centre, underlines the urgent need for the introduction of radical new sex education programmes in our schools.
In graphic terms, those at the coalface describe the flood of internet pornography as a “catastrophe” of sexual violence and abuse. The tragedy is that this scenario is unfolding in the public gaze and in countless homes up and down the country.
According to Fiona Neary, the centre’s executive director, pornography is now so prevalent in society that it could affect young people’s views of sexual consent. Given Ireland’s pathetic past record as manifest in the failure of Church and State to meaningfully tackle the sexual abuse of children by priests, religious brothers, nuns, and family members, let us hope action will be taken to tackle this rapidly escalating crisis.
If the Government fails in this regard, not alone will it be letting down the teenagers of today, it will also be failing the parents of tomorrow. That indeed is a truly appalling vista.
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