Interactions between today’s girls and boys are often “dangerous, fraught and nasty – and very sexual”, says Zoe Strimpel in The Sunday Telegraph. The schools sex scandal has revealed a climate of fear and coercion unknown to my teenage self. Part of the problem is that boys grow up “on the violent excesses of digital porn”. In my day they were lucky to “cadge a look at Dad’s Playboy”. As I’ve seen at lectures and debates at Eton, Oxford and Cambridge, they’re also “desperate” to appear as woke “allies” to women and girls. The result is a strange “schizophrenia”.
Girls have changed too. They’re locked in a “feedback loop of Instagram likes for cute bikini selfies” and inundated “by images of dead-eyed, hot-bodied influencers”. As a result, they can’t take their minds off their appearance for a second. And rather than let kids work things out themselves, parents and teachers have turned teen sexuality into a “overheated political minefield”, with “excessive” sex education forced from an early age. Adults should shut up about sex and reduce kids’ access to porn and influencer imagery. Otherwise teenagers will head into life “associating sex with fear, vigilance and sexual acrimony”.