Monday 18 December 2017

A bamboozled AITR (Adult in the Room)

ISPCC CEO Grainia Long
ISPCC CEO Grainia Long

Ever seen MSNUWP in a text? No. I have't either. Or P911? Perhaps if you saw ADIDAS in a text on your teen's phone you would be delighted that they were showing some interest in sport. Wrong. That is the acronym for All Day I Dream About Sex. And P911 means Parent Alert. If it changes to 99 that means the parent is no longer watching. And if the parent is no longer watching it might be time for GNOC which is a straightforward request to Get Naked On Camera.

It has always been the case with early sexual experimentation that one is influenced by what one thinks one's peers do. We overestimate. At all stages in life we are prone to thinking that others are having far more exciting and adventurous sex lives than we are.

The "everybody else is doing it" argument for having sex used to come into play in late teens or early twenties. No more. The ISPCC recently reported that over 30,000 young people contacted Childline last year for help with sexual matters, with girls as young as 10 feeling pressurised to have sex. And worryingly the Chief Executive, Grainia Long, said that the advice this child was getting from her peers was that if she didn't do what she was being asked she risked losing the boyfriend. The calls she reported are coming from younger and younger children, with many now being made by children who are not yet in their teens and indeed not even in secondary school.

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