Schools ban MTV in fight against sexualised attitudes


Two Scottish councils have banned MTV from schools’ communal television screens in order to protect pupils from sexualised music videos.

North and South Lanarkshire have started the ban as the Scottish government plans to implement a nationwide education scheme to warn children about sexual abuse, assault and harassment.

Experts from Rape Crisis Scotland will give guidance to children whose attitudes seem increasingly to be shaped by exposure to pornography or “twerking” videos made by singers including Miley Cyrus.

Feedback from nine staff employed since the end of 2013 to speak to children in schools has shown disturbing attitudes to sex, peer pressure and consent.

Some school children have encouraged playground assaults under such names as “slap an arse Friday” or “grab a boob Tuesday”, according to the workers. Boys are given “man points” for assaulting girls and are denigrated by peers if they refuse to join in. Girls talk of being urged to re-enact scenes from porn films and are under pressure to be “porn-ready” by boyfriends.

Rape Crisis Scotland says many schools are struggling to deal with the phenomenon. The Lanarkshire councils say they hope cutting exposure to sexually explicit videos will help tackle the problems.

Kathryn Dawson, sexual violence prevention co-ordinator at Rape Crisis Scotland, said: “We’re looking at issues like consent, exploitation, defining what is sexual violence, and how can we support friends if they’ve been affected.

“If someone sends a naked picture around, you’ve got a choice about whether you send that on.”

A resource pack distributed by the charity, entitled Preventing Sexual Violence, outlines the programme’s aims.

It wants children to understand the definition of sexual violence and to be more prepared to try and tackle it.

The Scottish government said the scheme was part of its efforts to help children live healthier and happier lives.

A spokesman for the Educational Institute of Scotland said: “The EIS works with organisations such as Rape Crisis Scotland to promote positive relationships education, including the exploration of troubling issues such as harassment, abuse and sexual assault. 

“These will always be difficult areas for teachers and pupils to discuss, so it is welcome that organisations such as Rape Crisis Scotland can offer assistance to schools to allow teachers to explore the issues and offer appropriate support and guidance to pupils.”


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