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‘Rape culture’ in schools and the role of pornography | Letter

Research by Prof Nicky Stanley and Prof Christine Barter has found a significant link between boys’ regular viewing of online pornography and their use of sexual coercion and abuse

Re your article (Is pornography to blame for rise in ‘rape culture’?, 29 March), our research undertaken with over 4,500 young people aged 14-17 in five European countries found a significant association between boys’ regular viewing of online pornography and their use of sexual coercion and abuse. Boys who regularly watched online pornography were also significantly more likely to hold negative gender attitudes.

Pornography is now a massive global industry and, for some young people, it fills a gap left by infrequent and inadequate sex education. Our findings suggest long-term benefits in addressing boys’ use of pornography and their understandings of gender. Sex and relationships education is now a statutory part of the curriculum in England and Wales, but this is a challenging issue for schools to tackle without expert input and additional resources.

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