A Lesson We Can’t Avoid: Pornography

A Lesson We Can’t Avoid: Pornography

As children grow up into young adults, they become increasingly aware of their surroundings. As technology develops it plays a greater role in this process. As such, the issue of pornography – an undeniably major part of internet use – is something society can’t ignore. What is less certain, is who should engage with young people about it and how. This article in the The Telegraph from May 2013 highlights the rights of parents in deciding what their children should be taught about pornography in school. It argues that the issue should not be compartmentalized into a few hours of sex education lessons. However it is arguably the right of the child to have the opportunity to learn how to deal with dangerous situations. This education should teach children to understand and contextualise what they see when and if they access explicit material online. Hopefully, they will come to understand that pornography provides a distorted view of sexual relationships. The need for this is increasingly urgent. Last year, the Children’s Commissioner for England identified a link between the absence of decent and standardized education on sex and relationships with a failure to prevent violence against women and girls. Significantly, the report argued: “As part of our inquiry into the sexual exploitation of children in gangs and groups we have seen that young perpetrators of sexual abuse describe their activity as ‘like having been in a porn film’. The great advantage of education is that it is universal. All young people can hear the same important messages, about issues like “revenge porn” and “sexting”, regardless of the whims of their parents… In...
Why You Should Join Youth Voice!

Why You Should Join Youth Voice!

In the last few years, despite having no shortage of college work to do, I have managed to clock-up 360 volunteering hours. One of the highlights of this has been working with Youth Voice, which has given me a real insight into what can be achieved when young people put their minds to it. One of the greatest achievements of Youth Voice in my area of the country has been a scheme called “Ride Around for £1”. The impact of this has been incredible, massively increasing footfall on local busses, and promoting the accessibility and appeal of public transport to the younger generation. The power of young people can be immense, if you go about showing it in the right way. Although “Ride Around for £1”may have been our main campaign, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the Youth Council has not achieved anything else. In the last few years, combined, Youth Voice has played its part in getting new leisure facilities for young people, encouraging youth to take up more sport and much more. Additionally, it has played a massive part in  promoting a positive view of young people in the local press and further afield. Youth councils and similar organisations often have benefits for their participants as well as the people they represent. In the past, I have known young participants becoming part of their local council, and some to take their skills to the European level. Additionally, for me and for many others, I feel that it is great way to bump up your CV and gain invaluable experience. Overall, whatever your background, wherever you live, there...
Call for Creative Volunteers – 99% Campaign Magazine

Call for Creative Volunteers – 99% Campaign Magazine

The 99% Campaign is recruiting a group of young people aged 16-25 to develop and design their very own youth-focused magazine. We are looking for young bloggers, illustrators,  photographers, aspiring film-makers to advocate passionately for youth issues. About the 99% Campaign The 99% Campaign is a youth-led initiative that aims to dispel negative stereotypes of young people, and to promote their involvement in decision-making processes and civic life. The Campaign is funded by Nominet Trust and is hosted by Independent Academic Research Studies (IARS), an independent think-tank with a charitable mission to give everyone a chance to forge a safer, fairer and more inclusive society. With the successful launch of our first annual magazine, we are offering a platform for young people to express their views: to debate the most important youth issues; and to be a voice for change in our communities. In doing so, negative perceptions about young people will be challenged by the very people who are subjected to them. The magazine will demonstrate the positive contributions of young people in society by showcasing the work of young activists, writers and creative designers. To top it off, the work of the team will be presented at our much anticipated Research and Leadership Awards 2014, which will be attended by key public figures across the government, youth media and community sector. What skills and experience we are looking for This is a perfect opportunity for young people who are interested in journalism and creative arts, and have a keen interest in current issues that affect young people. We are looking for people that also have a strong knowledge of all mainstream social media platforms and...
What does it mean to be young?

What does it mean to be young?

Being young is not about comparing your age to an arbitrary range of numbers. Nor is it about the lack of wrinkles on your forehead, nor the amount of hair attached onto your scalp. To be young is to be excited about the ever-changing fashions, to stay up all night talking, and to think that time is air. We like to switch majors ten times, move in and out of relationships, and sleep in whenever possible. It is not conformity that drives us, but nonconformity. It used to be that graduation was one with marriage and family. The gap of adolescence was small, and the traditional sense of adulthood was the natural progressive stage in life. But in the post-industrial society we live in, this model breaks down. Education and training are more crucial than ever before to secure a job in an economy where entry-level positions are subsiding. Young people know this precisely, and that’s why we want to get ahead. One of the greatest things about higher education is that we change–we develop. We are guided by new ways of thinking and inspired by new people we meet along the way. As a result, transitory decisions sustain a quest for identity, exploring the possible life paths and relationships. Changing social norms also fuel the extension of adolescence. In the United Kingdom, 22% of households were headed by a single parent in 2011 compared to 8% in 1971. Naturally, our generation is less concerned about fitting into society’s standards compared to previous generations. Today’s technological advances help to nurture our curiosity even further, enabling us to travel to all four corners of the...
Sexual Health Awards 2014

Sexual Health Awards 2014

The sexual health awards take place annually as part of a celebration of sexual health to celebrate the work of those who wouldn’t be recognised for their hard work in the fight to improve sexual health in the United Kingdom. The awards night, on Friday 14th March 2014, consisted of awards such as, Sexual Health Professional of the Year, Young Person of the Year, The Pamela Sheridan Sex and Relationships Education Award and the Sexual Health Media Campaign/Storyline of the year. The evening began in The Old Billiard Room and Annex, as waiters with trays of alcohol walked around the room, offering a glass to every person entering.  The room was alive with people talking to each other, while music played in the background. At about 7.15pm, everyone was escorted to the ballroom, where Jenny Eclair, stand-up comic and winner of the prestigious Perrier Award at the Edinburgh festival, immaculately, hosted the award ceremony, humouring the crowd with her witty antics. Of the category “The Pamela Sheridan Sex and Relationships Education award,” was the “Oii My Size” campaign. The campaign has been designed and developed by a group of teenage girls, focusing on helping young girls aged 10-18. Through their website and app, supported by workshops, their aim is to help teenage girls voice their opinion to teenage boys about how they would like to be approached. Discussing issues such as sexting, chat up lines, how to deal with certain situations and what is normal. They have also made boys more aware about treating girls with more respect and speaking to girls on a more intellectual level, rather than...