Fertility, porn, imagination… it’s time for a new approach to sex education | Eva Wiseman

Far fewer babies are being born so we should be teaching boys – not just girls – how to make informed choices about fertility and relationships

Do you ever get that thing, that slightly psychedelic thing, when you hear an idea so good that it changes how you encounter the rest of the world? When it installs itself like a migrainous aura in your vision, colouring unrelated thoughts, its simplicity offering whispered suggestions for other ways a problem might be solved? It happened for me with porn.

An essay by Oxford professor Amia Srinivasan offers a solution to the many problems with pornography, and rather than the suggestion that people just switch off their phones or even that schools teach “porn literacy”, it is to offer young people a kind of “negative” sex education. “It wouldn’t assert its authority to tell the truth about sex,” but remind them that, “the authority on what sex is, and could become, lies with them.” Lessons in the lost power of sexual imagination. I could not love this more.

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