A report by the British government’s Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) has found that sexual harassment, unwanted touching, and requests for and sharing of nude photos is so common across public and private schools in the United Kingdom that girls believe it is a normal part of going to school.
The Christian Post reports that the review of 900 children in 32 state and private institutions found that such incidences have become “normalized” to students.
Nine out of ten female students said that they are subject to sexual remarks or receive unwanted explicit media “a lot” or “sometimes,” while boys use apps like Snapchat and WhatsApp to share such images and videos like a “collection game.”
Two-thirds of the girls said they’ve felt pressured to engage in sexual behavior when they didn’t want to, while a majority said they’re subject to unwanted touching.
Although sexist remarks are “commonplace,” according to the inspectors, many “don’t see the point of challenging or reporting this harmful behavior because it’s seen as a normal experience.”
“The frequency of these harmful sexual behaviors means that some children and young people consider them normal,” they found.
Students also believed that school faculty was unaware of the prevalence of sexual harassment, causing the report to advise that schools ought to “act on the assumption” that this behavior was taking place among students.
“It’s alarming that many children and young people, particularly girls, feel they have to accept sexual harassment as part of growing up. Whether it’s happening at school or in their social life, they simply don’t feel it’s worth reporting,” Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman said of the report, which “shocked” her.
“This is a cultural issue; it’s about attitudes and behaviors becoming normalized, and schools and colleges can’t solve that by themselves. The government needs to look at online bullying and abuse, and the ease with which children can access pornography.”
This report is particularly disturbing in light of another recent report from the British government which found that children have a shockingly easy time using fake IDs to set up accounts on the website OnlyFans, which makes it incredibly easy to produce and earn money from online content, particularly amateur pornography.
In some cases, teens earn thousands of pounds posting explicit content of themselves engaged in sexual behavior.
In other cases, children have been threatened by their online “fans” that they will reveal the content to their parents if they do not continue to post.
There is no dancing around the central issue here: our hyper-sexualized culture, in which pornography has become widely available and easily accessible, while children walk around with their own internet devices, fully equipped with cameras, in their pockets, is to blame for the harassment and abuse British schoolgirls find themselves unmotivated to push back against.
This is indeed a cultural issue. Young women must be taught that no one has any right to make crude remarks, send them explicit videos, or pressure them into sexual acts.
We have let down entire generations of children by bringing them up in a world where sex is perceived to be cheap, casual, and easy, when it is anything but.
It’s time we raise girls and boys that understand the gravity of sexual relationships rather than subject them to exhaustive, explicit, detailed lessons on how to engage in all manner of sexual content and to celebrate, rather than mitigate, their sexual urges.
As Simon Calvert of The Christian Institute said, this all traces back to the way sex ed is currently being taught.
“The fact is, the sex education industry needs to take its share of the blame because it is obsessed with explicitness and hostile to the Christian sexual ethic,” he said.
“It’s time the government made space in sex education for a diversity of opinions instead of the monolithic socially liberal agenda that currently dominates,” he also noted.
“Christians should be allowed opportunities to explain the benefits of self-control and the joys of marriage.”
Amen to that.
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