Sexual assault and sexual harassment are growing problems in Australian schools, with Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research figures showing that 68 sexual assaults and 265 indecent assaults or other sexual offences occurred on school grounds in the year to September 2009.
A recent media report
cites easy access to internet pornography as one of the probable causes of highly sexualised behaviour amongst Australian children and teens. Schools are reporting problems of sex-based taunts, explicit text messages and physical assaults, aimed at students and teachers.
The report quotes Dannielle Miller from Enlighten Education, a group which works with adolescent girls. She says that schools have not yet grasped the gravity of the sexual assault problem, and that the sexual behaviour of many boys, influenced by pornified music, TV, films and the internet, was highly problematic.
These disturbing reports, which seem to be appearing more regularly, demonstrate the need for tighter regulation of media, especially music clips and internet content. Mandatory filtering at the ISP level of the worst of the worst online content is a practical and sensible first step in securing a safer media environment for young Australians.