BBC presenter says porn should be shown in classrooms

Despite new figures showing more children are seeking help following exposure to porn

A BBC presenter has said porn should be shown in schools as part of the sex education curriculum.

It comes despite new figures from Childline's British branch showing that more children are seeking professional help following exposure to pornographic material.

In The Guardian, Radio 4 presenter Jenni Murray argues that sex education should include viewings of pornography so children can be taught about its unrealistic portrayal of sex and intimacy.

"Every child has the right to be informed," she writes. "Carefully chosen examples of pornography could be shown to teenagers from, say, the age of 15 ... They would have the opportunity to assess and discuss pornography".

She adds: "I have not, by the way, as the NSPCC erroneously claimed last week, called for sex education to be abolished, merely for it to be renamed and restructured."

Childline UK's report found an increase of 60% in counselling sessions with children affected by pornographic material.

Just over half of those contacting the service last year were aged between 12 and 15. 

Earlier this year, the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC) warned that children as young as six are viewing pornography.

Cliodhna O'Neill of the ISPCC called it "a growing and ongoing problem".

"We have seen a definite increase in children being exposed to pornography online and within the home, sometimes with parental knowledge, in the last five years," she said.