British culture is “increasingly pornified” and is damaging young people, shadow health minister Diane Abbott has warned.
She believes that the rise of sexual bullying and “sexting” – where people send sexually explicit text messages – is a result of hyper-sexualisation.
A “revolution in sex education” to help tackle the problem is needed, she says.
She urged a “national conversation” between parents and children about sex, porn and technology.
There have been increasing concerns over the commercialisation and sexualisation of children, the ease with which pornography can be accessed through the internet and the way in which young people use text messages and emails to exchange sexually explicit images.
In 2011, the head of the Mothers’ Union, Reg Bailey, carried out an independent review for the government looking at the pressures on children to grow up too quickly.
It found that nine out of every 10 UK parents said children were having to grow up too early, with 40% saying they had seen things in public places, such as shop window displays and advertising hoardings, that they felt were inappropriate for children to see because of their sexual content.