TED Conversations

Cindy Gallop

Founder & CEO, IfWeRanTheWorld

TEDCRED 200+

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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!

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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.

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  • Dec 7 2011: For some reason I can't reply to your comment, so I'll have to start a new conversation here. :D

    And well, I don't think technology is as much the impact as the people and societies behind them.

    None the less, I think this is one of these never ending issues of balance and what people perceive as being the norm. I believe that the easiest and most effective way to come your issue to life, is teaching in the image of strong women and men.

    And a strong person is one that talks and debates preferences. You talk about confidence as an experienced women and I think confidence in the idea that talking about sex and gaining confidence is key.

    I believe that we are going into sexual expanding times, these will undoubtedly be forced into contracting times but since that is probably far off into the future as we are in a fairly relaxed period in human history, I think that getting your message integrated into education as well as the fabric of the internet is key.

    You got a cute website but it is porn killer. I am working on a project and I might be able to help you in the future but for now, I think your best shot is some kind of Facebook integrated debate.

    On the education of the internet this what I think you should have in mind to be relevant. http://www.khanacademy.org/ Khan is making a education website and having the sexuality debate there seems very natural.

    REMEMBER! Do not give people points for being creative, it only kills creativity.

    So a mix of those two and you will be going. I got no funding but if are ever interested, I might have the vision.

    Best regards,

    Samuel.

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