Culture Reframed: Pornography as a Public Health Issue - Consequences and Solutions

This event has now passed.

Date: 19 September 2019
Venue: The Station, Silver Street, Bristol, BS1 2AG
Venue Location:
Time: 10:00-16:30

This event is aimed at practitioners, researchers, students, professionals and activists in Public Health, Social Work, Mental Health, School Nursing, Nursing, Teaching, Youth Work, Education, Sociology and Social Sciences.

Join us for a one-day training conference with Dr Gail Dines, president and CEO of Culture Reframed, visiting from Massachusetts, US. The event covers issues that those working with young people and families will recognise - sexting, nudes, peer on peer abuse, teen intimate partner violence, porn addiction, media literacy, self-harm and body issues.

Hosted by University of the West of England, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences

Chaired by Dr Finn Mackay, Senior Lecturer in Sociology and member of the Social Science Research Group at UWE Bristol

The Problem

On the internet and social media, young people are exposed to pornography and bombarded with hyper-sexualised images of "idealised" women and men. These images convey powerful messages and ideologies that undermine healthy social, emotional, cognitive, and sexual development. The result seems not to be a more liberated sexuality, but a mass-produced vision of sex and gender roles that is still profoundly sexist - a vision that limits the ability to create authentic, equal relationships that are free of violence and degradation.

  • About one-third of internet search requests are pornography-related.
  • Studies show that nearly 90% of the most-viewed porn scenes contain sexual, physical, and verbal violence against women.
  • Porn sites get more visitors each month than Amazon, Twitter and Netflix combined.
  • The average age that boys first view mainstream hardcore porn is 12 (anecdotal evidence puts this age even younger).

The Research

Men and Boys

Research has demonstrated that boys exposed to pornography from a young age are more likely to:

  • believe "rape myths" that justify or defend rape
  • have decreased empathy for rape victims
  • display increasingly aggressive behaviour
  • pressure their partners to engage in porn-style sexual activity
  • experience difficulty developing intimate relationships with partners
  • have attitudes that support sexual harassment and violence against women
  • develop sexual preoccupation and compulsive internet use
  • have increased levels of erectile dysfunction.

Girls and Women

Research has demonstrated that girls exposed to hypersexualised media from a young age are more likely to:

  • have increased levels of anxiety and depression
  • suffer from low self-esteem
  • develop eating disorders and engage in self-harm
  • engage in risky sexual behaviour
  • develop negative body image and to self-objectify
  • have an increased likelihood of drug and alcohol abuse
  • engage in sexting, and to be sexually victimised.

Event Schedule

10:00-10:30 Coffee and Registration

10:30-12:00 Presentation by Dr Gail Dines on the impact of porn culture on children and youth

12:00-12:15 Break

12:15-12:45 Question and answer session

12:45-13:30 Lunch provided

14:30-15:00 Break and brief presentation on UWE Bristol's Speak Up bystander intervention programme - changing negative social norms.

13:30-16:00 (*including break) Presentation and interactive discussion by Samantha Wechsler on Culture Reframed's Online Programs. Culture Reframed has developed Online Programs to equip parents and professionals with the education and tools needed to build resilience and resistance in young people to hypersexualised media and porn.

16:00-16:30 Closing remarks.

Please note that this event necessarily addresses sexually explicit material and makes reference to mainstream themes and images in freely available, mainstream online pornography that some people may find offensive.

How to book

Tickets cost £20 and are available from our online store.

Exclusive free tickets for UWE Bristol students - requires a student number when booking.

Book now

Cost: £20
Contact: Dr Finn Mackay
Telephone: +44(0)117 32 84425

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