In light of COVID-19, we're rolling out an at-home sex ed series via our Facebook page. Every weekday we'll share helpful videos, infographics, and resources to help spark important conversations at home. This week we're all about general framing to prepare you for conversations, and then in forthcoming weeks we'll dig deeper into specific topics. Also, be sure to check out My AMAZE custom playlists (which offer a great way to engage with kids at home!) and our parent resources.
Amaze touts it offers children "medically accurate" and "age-appropriate" information. Among the organization's offerings for at-home sex ed is a new series called #AskAMAZE.
"Our first video covers the much asked question, is it normal to watch porn?" Amaze announces, and, in the video, answers the question with a resounding "Yes!"
"Lots of people watch porn," the narrator continues. "After all, it's right there and it's free. And anyway, many people are curious about this sex stuff."
The only negative aspect of porn Amaze mentions in the video is that "porn is not real."
"It's just a fantasy like superheroes movies," the narrator explains. "Bodies don't look like those in porn movies."
A partner of International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), which promotes comprehensive sex education (CSE), Amaze.org describes itself as a platform that desires young people to be "supported and affirmed" and envisions a world in which "the adults in their lives communicate openly and honestly with them about puberty, reproduction, relationships, sex and sexuality."
On Amaze's website is a New York Times op-ed by Peggy Orenstein from March 2016 that assailsabstinence or risk-avoidance sex education, the public health approach to sex ed.
"President Obama is trying - finally - in his 2017 budget to remove all federal funding for abstinence education," Orenstein wrote, advocating for speaking to children often about sex, to "normalize" it, and "integrate it into everyday life."
In a post about Amaze's new sex ed at-home series, Massachusetts Family Institute (MFI) observed:
Is this what amaze.org considers "honest sex education?" Telling kids that it's perfectly normal to watch porn doesn't sound medically accurate or age-appropriate to me, and researchers agree. Studies have shown that porn is highly addictive and has negative and detrimental effects on the brain and behaviors of youth.
MFI notes that Culture Reframed, an organization that addresses hypersexualized media and pornography as "the public health crisis of the digital age," asserts boys exposed to porn are more inclined to adopt attitudes that normalize sexual harassment and violence toward women.
Similarly, girls exposed to porn are increasingly likely to participate in high-risk sexual behavior and develop problems such as eating disorders and drug abuse.
The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) also observes children exposed to porn are inclined to engage in sex at younger ages, opening them up to higher risk of developing sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and pregnancy.
Like risk-avoidance sex ed, NCOSE advocates for a "public health approach" to pornography.
Such an approach has proven "effective with other major problems from smoking, to lead poisoning, to HIV/AIDS," the organization states. "Leadership and an investment are needed in a multi-disciplined, multi-pronged approach to be effective against a well-funded industry in order to prevent and combat the harms."