TED Conversations

Cindy Gallop

Founder & CEO, IfWeRanTheWorld


This conversation is closed.

What do you think each and every one of us can do to counter the impact and influence of porn as default sex education, everywhere?

Today hardcore porn is more freely and widely available online than ever before, thus accessible by kids at earlier and earlier ages (the average age at which porn is first viewed online is 11; a friend of mine recently found her 9-year-old son watching hardcore porn on her iPhone). At the same time, we do not as a society talk about sex openly; the majority of parents are too embarrassed to teach their kids about sex, and sex education is generally not taught in schools in a realistic and directly relevant way. As a result, and I can testify to this through my direct personal experience of dating younger men, an entire generation (guys and girls alike - girls watch and are as influenced by porn as guys are) is growing up believing that what you see in hardcore porn is the way that you have sex, with some very fundamental, ingrained negative impacts. As someone working to counter this with my venture http://makelovenotporn.com, I would love all thoughts and ideas from the TED community as to how we can collectively address what is, quite frankly, the single biggest impact technology is currently having on the most fundamental aspect of huma behavior - our sexuality, which informs everything to do with how we feel about ourselves, other people, our relationships, our lives and our happiness.

This is a global issue that is currently impacting everywhere.

We'll start this conversation at 1pm EST on Wednesday December 7. I am very much looking forward to conversing with all of you!


Closing Statement from Cindy Gallop

Everybody - I loved this conversation! Terrific free and frank exchange of views, many aligned. I found this enormously helpful, both to me personally as I take MakeLoveNotPorn forwards, but also in the context of the many friends I have who are all tackling different aspects of this whole area in different ways, and will also find a lot of this useful. Many thanks to everyone who participated - I really appreciate it. I hope to continue the conversation in due course, and certainly to add to and expand it when I and my team launch http://makelovenotporn.tv in spring 2012.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Dec 7 2011: Ugg. Porn as sex tutorial-- complete disaster. Lets see, where to begin.....nobody has any hair on their bodies, nobody ever uses condoms, the only physical contact is genital (so the camera can get a good shot), almost zero touching, very little skin to skin contact, lots of fake groans, mechanical thrusting and position changing.....gah. And that's before you get into the "girls like it every which way and no never means no" crap. Unfortunately, we live in an age of increasing pornigraphication, so kids don't even have to watch porn to get the message. Thong underwear for pre-teens, aerobic pole dancing at fitness clubs, barely dressed teens routinely performing oral sex in primetime dramas. It's bad out there. Now we have the whole "slut" movement which is supposed to be empowering, but is just girls choosing to be treated as sex objects. What happened to dignity, respect, trust, mutual affection, giving pleasure? In addition to solid and comprehensive sex ed, we need positive images of sexuality-- human, intimate, personal, emotional, caring-- in movies, on TV and in young adult literature. Also, while we have to give our kids positive messages about sex being healthy and pleasurable, we also have to be honest that sex can be dangerous, unpleasant, and bad. Girls need to be taught to treasure their sexuality and boys need to be taught to treat girls with respect.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.