Thursday, 10 February 2011

It's no wonder health experts condemn teen sex show

Let’s pretend you’re the mother of a 16 year old daughter who comes to you in tears. She has just broken up with her first serious boyfriend, because he thinks she’s not adventurous enough in bed. What do you do? At the very least my guess is you’d say: “Good riddance, darling, wait for a boy who loves you for who you are.”
I doubt if you’d emulate Katie May’s mother who accompanied her daughter in front of the cameras of The Joy of Teen Sex show televised last night to investigate the face-to-face alternatives to the missionary position.
The Mays, and other contributors like the girl who was allergic to her boyfriend’s sperm, know no embarrassment.
If you’re prepared to discuss your most intimate problems on national television rather consulting your GP, you are a fame-hungry exhibitionist.
I watched the programme on 4oD this afternoon to see what had offended the healthcare professionals, who had sent a round robin protest to Channel 4 as reported in today’s The Guardian.
They have good reason to complain beginning with “the inaccurate claim made at the start of each programme that the average teen has had three sexual partners by the time they reach 16. In fact reputable research finds most teens have not had intercourse before they are 16.”
This false assertion alone could do more harm than any good from the whole series put together by placing teenagers under the very pressure the show professes to combat.
In fact the show could be actually dangerous. A young man was encouraged to introduce oral sex into his lovemaking. Nowhere was there any mention of the potential dangers of mouth and throat cancer from the practise, which featured in Jaime Winstone's recent documentary. This was a programme which was everything The Joy of Teen Sex failed to be – it avoided prurience, consulted genuine experts, and had a real concern for the wellbeing of its target audience and not television ratings.

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