Image of vivid painting by Dublin Artist, Neil Douglas, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Courtesy of the Artist.
Also very dangerous, and greatly to the detriment and harm of mostly early teenage boys to young men, and then to the girls and young women they know, is how they may come to view and compare themselves, and other young people, as a consequence
of now frequent visits by large numbers of 13-17 year old boys / young men to pornography sites. It is thought around 82% of boys from the age of 11 to 12 upwards, are viewing pornography regularly, and use
it to learn how to interact with girls.
They usually start watching
at around 11-12 years of age.
It's thought around 82 per cent of Irish boys have viewed pornography by this
I knew Richie Sadlier was due to start a monthly Column in
the Health Section of The Irish Times. The headline below could not have been more timely, and the article is a must-read for all parents, guardians, and carers, teachers, and anyone
who works with young people, or who happens to be in their company regularly.
"Richie Sadlier: Talking with teenage boys about porn, drink and suicide
The psychotherapist and former pro soccer player kicks off a new monthly health column in The Irish Times."
Go to www.irishtimes.com, to
find his Column; he is also available on Facebook and Twitter. This is exactly what teenage boys, young men need and, of course, girls and young women also.
The low status boys and young men learn, through watching pornography, to think of as appropriate to women and girls - their perceived lack of a girl's / woman's personal integrity - and a presumption of their
sexual availability - are likely to cause confusion at the very least, in the REAL world, and certainly likely to cause offence and,
possibly, result in violent incidents.
Teenage boys and young men may have a very confused idea of consent. They think they have to be told "No!" for consent to be denied. Someone unconscious drunk or on drugs cannot say "No!", and that lack of simplicity can lead to very strange, unhappy, and dangerous misconceptions.
Richie Sadlier was interviewed on the RTÉ 1
television programme, the Ray D'Arcy Show, on Saturday 06 January last: Season 2017, Episode 13.
Go to https://www.rte.ie to search for the programme from abroad.
Go to https://www.rte.ie/player/gb/show/the-ray-darcy-show-30003587/10825024/, to view it within the Republic of Ireland.
Please don't think your brother, son or nephew, would never do this kind of thing!
All young people are curious.
This is a very
warped way to learn
about personal relationships.
The Article below is quoted from The Irish Times of
Sun, Dec 17, 2017, 07:00, Roe McDermott's Column.
& STYLE - Health & Family - Parenting
"How do I talk to my
teenage sons about pornography?"
"I don’t want to ignore the issue but I’ve no idea how I’m
supposed to raise the topic."
"Sun, Dec 17, 2017, 07:00, The Irish Times
"Having these conversations with your children isn’t going to just teach them about pornography; they’re going to teach your children how to be mindful, critically
engaged, empathetic, and self-aware."
"I’m the mother of two boys, ages 13 and 15. I’m constantly reading
and hearing about how young men are exposed to pornography at a young age, and how it causes issues regarding how they view sex and women. I don’t want to ignore the issue but I have no idea how I’m supposed
to raise the topic with my sons, or what indeed I should say. Do you have any advice on how to tackle this?"
"You’re right to want to address pornography with your sons. Too many parents are aware of the potentially damaging messages that young people can receive from pornography, but refuse to open
up a dialogue with their children about it. It’s vital to teach your children that sex and sexuality aren’t shameful and – like anything else – they are allowed ask questions about it, in order to learn.
"Of course, sometimes you won’t have all the answers, but it’s then that you can turn to trusted educational resources – together. Being part of your children’s education process around sex means that not only are you aware of what they’re learning, you’re
also showing them that in your home, education and information are empowering forces.
"By remaining silent and refusing to acknowledge the existence of pornography, you’d be teaching them not to talk about sex, not to ask questions, not to communicate about it.
"You’d be teaching them that your embarrassment is more important than their education and empowerment.
You’d be teaching them that sex is uncomfortable, and that discomfort trumps everything else, including their wellbeing."
Roe McDermott is a writer and Fulbright scholar
with an MA in sexuality studies from San Francisco
She is currently undertaking a PhD in gendered and sexual citizenship at the Open University and Oxford.
[The colouring and highlighting of text and headings, use of italics and enlarged headings, were added by me, ICOB.]
‘So if you go out and both get drunk you can’t have sex? That’s f**ked up’
Richie Sadlier and Elaine Byrnes discuss consent with transition year boys.
Richie: Does anyone in the class have any idea how they might explain consent to someone?
Joey: Just tell them that no means no.
Elaine: Okay, but remember the absence of a no doesn’t
mean the presence of a yes. Silence isn’t consent.
Johnny: But if someone isn’t giving any indication they’re not consenting, how are we meant
Shane: You’d see it on their face.
Johnny: Yeah but let’s say the
room is dark?
Shane: You’d know by their body language. They’d be frozen stiff or something. Ah, you’d know.
Paulo: Yeah but they could just be really rigid and shy, or quiet. What’s the difference?
Shane: Ah there’s a difference.
Johnny: Yeah but how are we meant to be sure?
Harry: You could ask
them straight out if they’re up for it.
Elaine: Yes! And don’t be afraid to be really specific. Communication is everything when it comes to consent.
Gareth: Okay, what are you meant to say? “Am I raping you or not?” [Room laughs]
Richie: Well that might kill the mood a little. Maybe think of other ways
to phrase it, but checking to make sure they’re comfortable and enjoying themselves is not a bad thing.
Johnny: Yeah but I heard that if the girl is drunk and even if she says that she’s enjoying it at the time,
it’s still rape. Is that true?
Richie: Well the legal definition of rape is penetrating someone without consent. A person incapacitated through drink or drugs would be considered
too wasted to give consent. So yes, if she’s drunk, you’re vulnerable in the eyes of the law.
Johnny: That’s f**ked up! So if you go out and you both get drunk you
can’t have sex? Isn’t that, like, 90 per cent of how people have sex in Ireland? Get drunk first and then shag?
Neil: Yeah, sure everyone drinks.
Richie: I don’t drink.
but we’re not trying to have sex with you.
is saying you can’t have sex. The law says if your partner is heavily intoxicated, though, they can’t give consent. That’s the definition that matters in the courts. And this isn’t just about penetrative sex. We’re talking about
all sexual behaviours.
Johnny: Yeah but what’s the difference between normal levels of drunkenness and being too drunk? How can you tell?
Elaine: Anyone? Where exactly is the line?
Joey: Well if she
can’t remember anything that happened, she’s obviously too drunk.
Paulo: Yeah but you won’t know that til the next morning. How are you supposed
to know there and then?
Richie: Anyone? Where exactly is the line between normal drunk and way too drunk?
she’s slurring her words, she’s obviously too drunk.
Thomas: Everyone slurs their words when they’re drunk. You’d never have sex if that’s
where the bar is.
Joey: I’d say if she’s falling around, or her balance is all over the shop, then she’s too drunk.
Thomas: That happens to everyone, too.
Luke: Yeah but what if you’re the same amount of drunk – how are you meant to notice?
Richie: Not sure I follow. Say a bit more . . .
Luke: Well you’re saying all men should know when a woman is too drunk to have sex . . .
Richie: Actually, we never said that. We just stated what the law says. We didn’t specify gender either.
Luke: Okay, fair
enough, but you’re basically saying men should be the ones to stop everything if the girl is drunk, even if the girl is saying at the time that she wants it.
not what we said either.
Luke: Okay but what I’m saying is – if both people are the same amount of drunk – how are blokes expected to be all responsible and stop
what they’re both doing? They’re out of their heads too, remember. It’s f**ked up that in those situations the bloke is the one who can be accused of rape. That’s what I’m saying.
Elaine: Anyone got anything to say to that?
Johnny: Luke’s right. The law is bulls**t. Why are men the ones who have to take responsibility
for the woman’s drunkenness?
Bobby: That’s not what the law says. Listen to what they’re saying. It just says there’s a point where someone
can be too out of it to give consent, so even if they say yes, you should still walk away.
Richie: It doesn’t say walk away. It’s making you aware that being intoxicated can influence
a person’s body language and facial expressions, even their words. It’s up to you to know how to behave if you’re ever in that situation. And remember, the law only becomes a consideration if there’s an allegation. I don’t want
you to get the impression that any woman that has sex while drunk – even if she can’t remember every detail – will automatically go to the gardaí. I’m just saying you should always take responsibility for your own actions in
Gareth: Yeah but you’re kind of saying we should take responsibility for the girls drinking too, like we have to be the ones to make decisions
on their behalf. I’m a feminist, you know. What about equality? [Room laughs]
Richie: I don’t think that’s what I’m saying.
Conor: It basically is, though. Let’s say we’re the same level of drunk, you’re saying the girl’s words – her saying yes – don’t count if she was hammered,
but the bloke’s actions – penetrating her – does. Is that not bulls**t?
Richie: Don’t you think drunken people should be offered some protection by the law? There are loads of cases where really drunk people have been taken advantage of by people who knew that what they were doing was wrong at the time.
Conor: Yeah but they’re scumbags.
We’re not. We’re just trying to get laid [room laughs]. You’re making out, okay, sorry – the law is making out – that there’s a higher standard of behaviour on us lads. That’s bulls**t.
Elaine: I suppose
what we’re saying is how important respect is when it comes to consent. Respect for yourself and respect for others. So, just to keep that in mind – you being drunk or the other person being drunk doesn’t change that.
a girl is hammered, though, shouldn’t the conversation be about why she’s hammered? You’re telling us to be responsible when it comes to alcohol and drugs, why shouldn’t women be held responsible too?
men can be raped too. This isn’t a man / woman thing. The law is there to protect everyone.
Conor: Okay, but I read about this bloke that was accused of rape and he didn’t do it and the girl just got away with making it up and now his life
Richie: I don’t know the details of that one, obviously, but everyone in the world is vulnerable to a false allegation. Men and women, remember. Any time you’re ever in a room alone with someone they can accuse
you of anything, so everyone is vulnerable to that. It’s worth being pretty selective who you go into a room alone with if that’s your concern.
Leo: Yeah but why does everyone automatically believe the girl? You look on
social media and everyone assumes the girl is right and the bloke’s reputation is ruined. Since #MeToo nobody believes blokes anymore.
Richie: That’s not a reflection of how the courts generally see it. Have you seen the
conviction rates compared to the number of reported rapes? Anyone know roughly how many rapes go unreported?
Johnny: But a man’s life is ruined if he’s accused.
Richie: How would you compare that to the experience
of being raped and not believed? Or being raped and not even reporting it cos you think you won’t be believed?
Richie: Let me ask you this way – if you came to me this morning and said you had been raped last night, would you want me to believe you? [Room laughs]
No, seriously, let’s move away from the notion that women are the only victims of rape here.
Leo: Well obviously, yeah.
Richie: Okay, and let’s say it happened while you were at a party with a load of older blokes and you were
drunk. Would you want people to say it was your fault cos you were drunk? Or that you should have known better than go to a house with older lads or some s**t like that?
Leo: Obviously not, no.
Richie: So why did you say we should
discuss the woman’s drinking if she was drunk?
Richie: Sorry lads, we’re out of time here. Anyone got anything to say before we finish up?
Elaine: So would it have been enough for us to just say to you all that no means no?
[Lots of heads shake]
if we asked any of you to explain consent to someone now, what would you say?
Gareth: I’d tell them to never drink and stay a virgin cos it’s not worth the f**king hassle. [Room laughs]
Richie and Elaine: See
you next week, lads.
Richie Sadlier and Elaine Byrnes deliver a six-week module in sexual health to transition year students in St Benildus College, Kilmacud, Dublin. The names of the boys, listed above, have been changed.
[The colouring and highlighting of text and headings, and enlarged headings, were added by me,
Please See LUKE Culhane's video on YouTube entitled
'Cyber Bullying: Create No Hate'
which went viral. Luke's video recounts his own experience of being bullied on-line.
Every PGC and teacher needs to make themselves knowledgeable about this pernicious type of bullying. PGCs have
to take on the responsibility of learning about cyber-bullying, and then make sure their offspring also know about it, and
know they should tell as soon as anything nasty happens on-line.
WHAT DO PARENTS, GUARDIANS, AND
CARERS KNOW ABOUT CYBER-BULLYING?
HAVE PGCs made themselves aware of the ubiquitous nature of cyber-bullying, and how extremely damaging it is to any child, young person, or adult?
Go to www.webwise.ie for
advice for PGCs, teachers, and anyone who should make him or herself knowledgeable on cyber-bullying.
PGCs cannot leave this job to
teachers and the school.
Our children's and young people's welfare have
to be our priority - please take this issue seriously. Young people can become isolated, may self-harm and, in some cases, take their lives.
Some truly cannot live with the constant
LUKE Culhane (then
13), from Limerick, Ireland, created a video entitled
Create No Hate'
which went viral on YouTube. Luke's video recounts his own
experience of being bullied online.
IS VERY IMPORTANT VIEWING FOR ALL PGCs, YOUNG PEOPLE, AND CHILDREN.
was named the 2016 "Child of the Year" / 'l'enfant de l'année 2016', by French newspaper 'Mon Quotidien' for standing up to cyber-bulling.
Cyber-bullying can happen to anyone on a seemingly random
basis. Frequently, young people keep it to themselves ~ they do not tell PGCs and, often, not even their best friends. The results of this COWARDLY bullying can be appalling for everyone in
the family, not just the selected victim.
PGCs REALLY NEED to find out about this pernicious activity; when they have informed themselves, they will have a better idea what to look
out for in their young people and children.
A conversation on the whole topic, at the dinner table, with everyone present, would make the subject easier for everyone to ask about and talk about. Show Luke's YouTube video, even
young children will be able to understand its message, and it would be a good starting point for your conversation.