Steve Beegoo outlines some of the significant problems with Channel 4’s Naked Education and why you should join him in making a complaint to Ofcom.
Channel Four has been hugely ‘progressive’ and pushing boundaries for many years. The show Naked Attraction shown repeatedly on all the Channel 4 linked channels, was the first on mainstream British TV to have naked men and women standing in front of another adult, in order to decide which one they would like to form a relationship with. And now they are involving children in their purposeful extension of the naked revolution.
Is it education?
Framing as ‘Education’, and body positivity, Naked Education shows adults exposing themselves and parading in front of children as young as 14, displaying their penises and vaginas. All this is before the normal 9pm watershed.
The adults chat with the children about their bodies and especially their sexual organs. With smiling faces, nakedly and unashamedly, these adults are connecting with these children and ‘helping’ them to feel positive about their own bodies.
The section of this magazine style show which involves children is surrounded by segments which often cover topics which are worth discussing, such as where adults have deep emotional, medical and psychological problems related to their bodies. Pornography has damaged many young people’s understanding about how male and female bodies should look. But woven into this valuable raising of issues, hiding in plain sight, is what many believe to be the first stages of the grooming of children. It is a clear move towards the public acceptance of adults being naked with children.
Channel 4 has been very successful in crossing boundaries and provoking controversy to drum up interest in the show, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of the children involved.
A safeguarding issue
If a schoolteacher was informed that a child in their class, had been introduced by their parents to adults who exposed their sexual parts to that child, to talk about them and ‘educate’ them about ‘body positivity’, this would undoubtedly be seen as a serious safeguarding issue.
The power imbalance between adults and children is always seen as a significant factor, especially for those who are in a position as a teacher. Records would be taken. Reports would be written. The social services informed. That child would be monitored and an investigation would begin. Why is it any different here? In addition, an adult who inappropriately exposed themselves would be barred from work with children.
Disturbed and embarrassed?
The children had clearly been groomed, as most likely had their parents, to accept that this would happen as part of the show, and that it was totally acceptable. Even with this, the children still express shock, surprise, and with much giggling, their innate and protective embarrassment is brushed aside, so that the adults in the room can make points about their naked bodies and the sexual parts on display.
Bobbi (14) is filmed saying ‘Oh this is really happening!’. Having at first been overtaken by giggles Millie (16) says ‘I couldn’t look at them’ and then is led in an interview to say, ‘It’s so great to see that actually no bodies are the same’. Elliot (15) is asked by the presenter, ‘You’ve got four naked people standing in front of you. Is this a new experience for you?’. Elliot comments later ‘It is quite a daunting experience isn’t it?’. Bobbi (14) ends one section signifying her appreciation to the adults by making a heart from her fingers.
Is it really legal?
The law on indecent exposure requires that an adult deliberately intend to upset another member of the public by displaying their genitals. Were these children upset? Laws on what a child can consent to regarding sex are clear. It is illegal to groom children. It is illegal to engage in sex with a child under 16. Is it legal for a child themselves or their parents to consent to this kind of public education?
As the NHS website highlights, ‘Children under the age of 16 can consent to their own treatment if they’re believed to have enough intelligence, competence and understanding to fully appreciate what’s involved in their treatment. This is known as being Gillick competent. Otherwise, someone with parental responsibility can consent for them.’
Is there any level of appreciation in a 14-year-old, which we can accept would allow them or their parents the right to give genuine consent to be interactively engaged by naked adults for education? Adults who would be cheerfully talking about their exposed genitals.
Understandably, many have been concerned about this new ground-breaking territory which Channel 4 has pioneered. This normalisation of adult nakedness with children, surely provides the ground for further ‘progress’. Next could we have children exposing their sexual parts to each other to help educate them that different teenagers have different bodies?! This is why there have been over 1,000 complaints made to Ofcom already.
What if thousands more complained and took some action? Many more could complain to Ofcom. If you know the children, why shouldn’t a concern be raised to their local school and be followed up by social services. Wherever the filming was shot, potentially in Westminster, London or Salford, Manchester, why shouldn’t the MET or Greater Manchester police be notified of a potential crime of indecent exposure? Why shouldn’t the Local Authority Designated Officer, responsible for the safeguarding of children in their area, be informed, that emotionally disturbing and potentially illegal nakedness has been occurring in a studio in their area?
Continued silence about the sexualisation of children in education settings or in the media is not acceptable. The Lord is very clear of his judgement regarding those who lead children into sin. We must prayerfully speak out against the evils, masquerading as educational angels of light.
How to make a complaint
Some of the key details for making a complaint are at the link below. Please be clear and Christ-like in how you word any complaint or concerns.
- Ofcom: the broadcasting regulator: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/complaints
- NSPCC to contact about ‘Child Abuse in Education’: Email help@NSPCC.org.uk or Telephone: 0808 800 5000
- To find latest details on Local Authority Designated Officers please search your local authority website