The ‘P’ word

Lesson powerpoint here

Lesson Objectives:

  1. To be aware of the debate about the impact of pornography;
  2. To think critically about the arguments put forward in the debate about pornography and for pupils to make informed opinions about it.

Thinking about the pornography debate.

  • Put up the slide with the statement ‘pornography only affects boys’ on it.
  • Ask students to come up with reasons why this might be true and reasons why it might be false.
  • Discuss.
  • Go through the same discussion process about the statement ‘pornography is harmful’ (on the slides).
  • Play ‘Jay the ladies man’ clip (it’s from The Inbetweeners, so comes with a language warning).
  • Discuss how pornography might have affected Jay as a character. What other factors might have contributed to his view of women and sex (e.g. his appalling father)?

Critical thinking and the pornography debate.

  • Suggest that pornography might be harmful for 3 main reasons: it changes our idea of normal body image, it changes our idea of what is normal sexual behaviour and it changes our ideas of what to expect from a sexual relationship.
  • Show students the ‘what is normal?’ slide on the lesson ppt. Ask them in small groups to discuss. (Consider whether to put them into single sex/mixed groups for the discussion).
  • Discuss as a class. Try to help students develop a clear sense of what is normal and what is ‘pornification.’
  • There is a short video here about some of the myths of pornography.
  • Ask students to read the extracts from newspaper articles about the effect of pornography on the young. There is also a good article from The Week here on the supposed impact of pornography on the young.
  • What do they think? Has their view about whether or not it is harmful changed?
  • There has been a recent debate about whether or not primary age children should be taught about pornography. If students had to give advice to 10 – 12 year old children about pornography, what would it be? Would that advice change for people of their own age?

Prep: Speculate on the effects of pornography in our culture. Do students see evidence of its impact in their daily lives or not? Where? How? Write about this.