“Deplorable, appalling” comments from senior boys, says WC headmaster

A message from the headmaster of Wellington College
You may have seen media coverage about two senior boys posting objectionable comments on Facebook. The school takes this extremely seriously. The comments made about young women in those posts were deplorable and appalling and do not reflect Wellington College values in any way.

The boys concerned have been spoken to and the senior leadership team has launched an investigation.

A special assembly was held for all Year 11, 12 and 13 boys to discuss the issues arising from this incident.

The school will be working with Rape Crisis and other agencies to make sure that boys understand the meaning of consent and the importance of respect in relationships. The boys have been given a clear message that part of being a good man is respecting women.

The incident also reminds us all that whatever we say on social media is there for all to see and for each of us to be judged by.

I would urge you to take the time to talk to your son/s about the meaning of consent and respect and about the risks they take posting comments on social media.
Roger Moses ONZM

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News from Family First NZ
The example of Wellington College students posting offensive comments on social media relating to rape and consent are the tip of the iceberg, and this incident highlights the pressing need for experts to formally investigate the public health effects and societal harms of pornography.

“Social scientists, clinical psychologists, biologists and neurologists are now beginning to understand the psychological and biological negative effects of viewing pornography both online and through the media and video games. They show that men and younger males who view pornography regularly have a higher tolerance for abnormal sexuality, including rape, sexual aggression, and sexual promiscuity. Prolonged consumption of pornography results in stronger perceptions of women as commodities or as ‘sex objects’,” says Mr McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“There are two major issues that our country must confront sooner than later. The first is the link between the regular and increasing consumption of online pornography and our unacceptable rates of sexual violence. The second, which many parents are very concerned about, is the effect of pornography viewing on younger people and its easy availability – even when children are not actively seeking it.”

Researchers from a number of disciplines have shown that viewing pornography is associated with damaging outcomes. A recent meta-analysis of 22 studies between 1978 and 2014 from seven different countries concluded that pornography consumption is associated with an increased likelihood of committing acts of verbal or physical sexual aggression, regardless of age. A 2010 meta-analysis of several studies found “an overall significant positive association between pornography use and attitudes supporting violence against women.” It also places unacceptable pressure on young girls which leads to eating disorders, body dissatisfaction, low self-esteem, depression, and other harms

In a study of U.S. college men, researchers found that 83% reported seeing mainstream pornography, and that those who did were more likely to say they would commit rape or sexual assault (if they knew they wouldn’t be caught) than men who hadn’t seen porn in the past 12 months. In astudy of young teens throughout the southeastern United States, 66% of boys reported porn consumption in the past year; this early porn exposure was correlated with perpetration of sexual harassment two years later.

“These studies all highlight the extent to which porn is a public health crisis rather than a private matter, and its infecting its way in to the hearts and minds of our young people,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“If we want to tackle sexual violence and the type of attitudes that have fueled the Facebook posts causing concern at Wellington College, we must first admit the role that pornography plays and the harm that it does to attitudes and actions.”

The petition states: “That an expert panel be appointed to investigate the public health effects and societal harms of pornography to both children and adults, and to make policy recommendations to Parliament.”

 

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