Since when were school kids hot?

Since when were school kids hot?

I guess I thought they were when I was a student in high school, but what’s strange is that the idea of a hot school girl continues today, and not just for high school aged guys.

Last week, Microsoft got blasted for hiring dancers dressed up as school girls at a gaming event.  They did it hours after sponsoring a lunch seeking to support women being involved in the gaming industry. 

They got roasted on social media, and pretty quickly sent out an apology. Still, someone thought that women dressed up as school girls would be sexy.

But seriously – since when were school kids hot?

I know that many girls below 18 look much older than they are, but it seems odd that there is this stereotype of the hot sexualised school girl who really isn’t that innocent after all.

Having worked in schools for a while now, there seems to be a massive disconnect between what people watch in their fantasy world and what is legal in the real world.

I’ve been reading through a book called Big Porn Inc. There’s a chapter in there right at the start, written by Gail Dines about the sexualisation of childhood (p. 3-8) in which Dines focuses on a genre of porn called ‘Pseudo Child Pornography’ or PCP for short. 

The general idea here is that a young looking woman is slowly coaxed into masturbating in front of a camera.  Directors do all they can make the woman look as young and innocent as possible.  The viewer gets off on watching the woman lose her innocence. 

This is really odd.  And in the USA it’s totally legal.  Dines notes that in 2002, a lobbyist group called the ‘Free Speech Coalition’, “worked to change the 1996 Child Pornography Prevention Act that prohibited any image that ‘is, or appears to be, of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct.’  Arguing that the words ‘appears to be’ limited the free speech of the pornographers, the coalition successfully got this ‘limitation’ removed” (p. 4).

So pornographers are allowed to make material that appears to have minors engaging in sex.

And this isn’t just some small group of people who are into something weird.  This is mainstream porn. In 2014, Pornhub, one of the largest pornographic sites on the web, revealed that the most popular genre of porn was ‘teen porn’.  (Don't worry - this is a link to an article, not to Pornhub itself)

Now, Australia is not the same as the USA.  As far as I can tell from looking into the laws in Australia, they do contain ‘appears to be’ in them.  And I get it; a teen can be 18 or 19.  I teach high school students who are 18.  But who are we kidding here?

I thought we as a society hated child pornography?  We certainly hate paedophiles. Yet for so many, teen porn, or PCP, is hot. It seems to me that what should be a clear line has been blurred - where people say ‘as long as they’re not really children, then it’s ok’.  Surely we’re not that naïve.

More than that, we’re kidding ourselves if we think this will have no effect on society.  I’m not saying that all viewers of teen porn will suddenly become paedophiles.  But at the very least we have to consider the long term impact of scores of men, both young and old, getting off on watching teen porn.

Do we as a society really think its ok that the most popular form of porn intends to make child-like women sexy?  Perhaps this is further evidence that the more people consume porn, the more they continue to need something a little edgier to get the same high as last time.

And if this line is blurring...there's no telling, at this stage, as to how far the blur will spread.