Experiment that convinced me online porn is the most pernicious threat facing children today: By ex-lads’ mag editor MARTIN DAUBNEY

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By MARTIN DAUBNEY,

The moment I knew internet pornography had cast its dark shadow over the lives of millions of ordinary British teenagers will live with me forever.

I was sitting in the smart drama hall of a specialist sports college in the North of England with a fantastic reputation.

Before me were a group of 20 boys and girls, aged 13-14. Largely white, working-class children, they were well turned-out, polite, giggly and shy. 

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As the presenter of a Channel 4 documentary called Porn On The Brain, airing next Monday at 10 pm, I’d been invited to sit in on a forward-thinking class led by sex education consultant Jonny Hunt, who is regularly asked into schools to discuss sex and relationships. To establish what these kids knew about sex – including pornography – he had asked the children to write an A-Z list of the sexual terms they knew, no matter how extreme.

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Most of these children had just hit puberty and some were clearly still children: wide-eyed, nervous, with high-pitched voices.

Some of the girls were beginning their first forays into makeup. Several wore braces on their teeth. Everybody was smartly turned out in school uniform, and the most anti-authority statement in the room was a tie worn deliberately short. A One Direction pencil case lay on a desk. These were clearly good children, from good homes. So far, so very, very ordinary.

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But when Jonny pinned their lists on the board, it turned out that the children’s extensive knowledge of porn terms was not only startling, it superseded that of every adult in the room – including the sex education consultant himself.

‘Nugget, what’s that?’ asked Jonny.

‘A nugget is a girl who has no arms or legs and has sex in a porno movie,’ chortled one young, pimply boy, to an outburst of embarrassed laughter from some, and outright revulsion from others.

The adults in attendance were incredulous at the thought that not only did this kind of porn exist but that a 14-year-old boy may have actually watched it.

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Martin Daubney is the Ex Editor for Loaded magazine. Photographed at his home in East Dulwich by Richard Cannon on the 4th June 2012

But the more mundane answers were just as shocking. For example, the first word every single boy and girl in the group put on their list was ‘anal’.

When questioned, they had all – every child in a class of 20 – seen sodomy acted out in porn videos. I was stunned they even knew about it – I certainly hadn’t heard of it at that age – let alone had watched it and as a result, may even have wanted to try it.

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