The Methodist Council report of 1-3 April 2017 MC17-34 Pornography Working Group, responds to a call from 3Generate 2014 which challenged the Methodist Church in Britain to help people of all ages, not just young people or youth workers, to discuss the realities and challenges of pornography. It highlights the complexity of defining and agreeing what is pornography and explores some of the challenges raised by a rapidly changing agenda, in part driven by the development of digital technology.
Read the full report here (Word doc)
The Council directed the Connexional Team both to ensure that this report remains available as a resource, and to make widely available the list of resources that was included as Appendix 3 of the report and is also shown below. The list on this page will be updated periodically: suggestions for additional resources to be shown here can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Council also called on all the bodies and agencies with responsibility for sex education in schools to listen to and act on the voices of children and young people, so that children and young people are better supported in their learning about relationships and sex, including pornography, in ways that are safe and credible, and supports the Secretary of State for Education in England's proposals to put relationships and sex education on a statutory footing, so every child would have access to age appropriate provision in a consistent way.
The following resources can be used to help understand the realities and challenges of pornography and/or inform and enable reflective conversations on these issues.
Think U Know
CEOP Command's Thinkuknow programme provides resources, training and support for professionals who work directly with children and young people. They have resources designed to help children and young people keep themselves safe from sexual abuse and exploitation by developing skills in identifying and avoiding risk, learning how best to protect themselves and their friends, and knowing how to get support and report abuse if they do encounter difficulties. A wide range of resources for use with parents and carers are also available.
Revenge Porn helpline
A free and confidential national helpline to offer advice to people who are subject to revenge porn, that is sexually explicit media that is publicly shared online without the consent of the pictured individual. Content is often uploaded by ex-partners with an intention to shame or embarrass an individual.
This is a project of Youthscape, based in Luton. They have a team of dedicated youth specialists and have developed approaches and programmes that can used across the UK. They produce Romance Academy Playing Cards, a resource for youth workers to use in groups to start conversations with young people about relationships and sex, leading to discussions about the emotional, physical and social challenges of growing up. Each of the 4 suits represents a topic: Values, Choices, Dilemmas, and Sexual Health. Each pack costs £8.50 and is available from www.youthscape.co.uk/store/product/ra-playing-cards
Comprehensive selection of fun, participatory and evidence based activities and resources to help people to be critical about sex produced by BISH training, a comprehensive and well respected sex and relationships education site for people over 14. As well as talking about porn this resource enables conversations around self-esteem, body image, boundaries, pleasure, consent, communication, safer sex, sexual safety, the law, emotions, relationships, gender and sexual diversity and oppression. The pack contains a number of activities and resources which all come in a pdf and a PowerPoint document. Available for £10.50
Brook: the young people's sexual health & wellbeing charity
Brook provides free and confidential sexual health and wellbeing services for nearly 250,000 young people UK-wide, each year. They also provide a range of resources to support sex and relationships education (SRE) in a range of settings and training courses for professionals working with young people. It leads a course to raise awareness of the impact of pornography on young people's sexual health and to increase knowledge regarding the legal framework around this. The course also equips workers with the knowledge and skills to proactively address these issues with young people.
The Naked Truth Project
Naked Truth is an initiative of a Christian Charity called Visible. They produce a range of educational programmes which are described as for "those of any faith or no faith". Some of their resources are created specifically to enable groups within churches to talk about the issues of pornography. They offer parental workshops (www.thepgworkshop.com) with advice on safeguarding children and young people and there is also a free Parents' Pack (www.thenakedtruthproject.com/parents ). The Project also offers online support groups to help people struggling to give up pornography use (www.clicktokick.com).
The NSPCC provides information for children and parents seeking advice about health sexual relations, pornography and how to keep children safe.
ChildLine provides information specifically for children and young adults including topics such as online porn; porn is fantasy not reality; porn, relationships and peer pressure; tips to help you stop watching porn.
Internetmatters.org is a not-for-profit organisation established with the backing of the BBC BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media to help keep children safe in the digital world and offer advice and information on tackling e-safety issues. It contains information about online pornography, sexting and inappropriate online content.
Parent Info is a collaboration between Parent Zone and CEOP (Child Exploitation Online Protection centre). It hosts articles on pornography including "How can I talk to my child about unhealthy images", "Is internet porn affecting children's happiness" and a video offering tips on how to open non-awkward discussions about pornography.
UK Safer Internet Centre
This site offers e-safety tips, advice and resources to help children and young people stay safe online. It contains resources specifically for children, parents and teachers to use.
A parent's guide to dealing with "sexting"
A two page guide for parents on what to do if their child has shared inappropriate or explicit images or films of themselves.
Online damage: Porn in the 21st Century. BBC Radio 4
Although broadcast in 2009 and is now somewhat out of date, this could provide a useful discussion starter. In it journalist Penny Marshall examines the effects of the rapid expansion of online pornography on UK society. She talks to those who use online porn, including couples trying to repair the trust and intimacy dented by the persistent and secretive use of porn sites. She also hears from psychologists who are concerned that young people are in danger of having their understanding of sexual relationships permanently damaged by what they see online.