Changing the conversations about pornography with rangatahi

April 13, 2022

Educators can access practical advice and support to talk with young people about pornography with a new resource launched today.

The new resource – Ka huri i te kōrero | Changing the conversations – was created by The Ministry of Education and the Classification Office to support school teachers to talk about pornography when delivering Relationships and Sexuality Education. It can also be used by other educators outside of schools.

Chief Censor David Shanks said his office research showed young people needed adults’ support to navigate this sensitive topic.

“Pornography is a fact of life for many young people but it’s not something many adults talk with them about. Its better if they can have healthy conversations about this kind of content than be left to work it out for themselves or rely on it for learning about sex,” said David Shanks

"How we talk about porn – and approach conversations with young people – really matters. This module draws on the Classification Office’s three-year research project into young people and pornography which highlighted the fact that open, honest, age-appropriate communication is key for young people developing healthy relationships.

Relationships and Sexuality Education guidelines for schools were updated in 2020, taking into account the impact of social media, increasing awareness around sexuality and gender diversity, and the availability of more sexually explicit and confronting online content including pornography.

“We developed this resource with the Ministry of Education, drawing on the expertise of Canterbury University Lecturer in Health Education Tracy Clelland, to prepare educators to change the conversations around pornography and relationships and sexuality by providing evidence-based information and practical facilitation ideas.

“Parents and caregivers are also educators and those wanting to use the resource are encouraged to. There is advice on having the conversation, and other useful resources,” Chief Censor David Shanks said.

The link to access the module is here. You can browse as a guest and find the public version using the search tools. For educators, access can be gained using an ESL login or an LMS login.

Editor’s note

The resource is divided into two sections:

  1. Section one is designed to develop the participants’ knowledge base around the issue of pornography and includes research from the NZ Youth and Porn survey and Growing Up with Porn.
  2. Section two gives key information about best practice teaching and learning in relationship and sexuality education and includes six lesson plans across different year levels.

Other specific resources include:

  • Videos of educators guiding you through the module and discussing best practice teaching and learning.
  • Animations:
    • Young people’s views on porn.
    • What young people want from education.
    • An educator facilitated discussion with young people about pornography.

Further information

Links to our research reports are below:

A link to our "How to talk with young people about pornography" resource is here

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