Taking on Porn: Developing Resilience and Resistance Through Sex Education

A Culture Reframed Virtual Conference

Saturday & Sunday, October 2-3, 2021

8am – 2pm EST / 1pm – 7pm UK / 2pm – 8pm Central Europe

REGISTER

Pornography has become the primary form of sex education for young people. Studies show that the average age of kids’ first viewing of porn is between 8 and 11 and that teenagers turn to online pornography to learn about sex. What are the individual and societal implications of a generation of young people groomed by exposure to hardcore porn?

Research links this exposure to increased levels of violence against women and children, and to impairment of healthy sexual, emotional, and cognitive development. As young people’s lives have shifted to the virtual, so have their relationships, their knowledge of sex, and their understanding of equality and intimacy. What forms of sex education can be effective in this context?

This conference is the first to explore best practices for developing sex education with a porn-critical lens while examining the key harms of porn — sexual violence, misogyny, and the increasing sexual commodification, monetization, and exploitation of young people.

Speakers will explore the impact of porn on the lives of adolescents and discuss approaches to effective progressive sex education in a culture permeated by porn and hypersexualized images. Attendees will leave with increased knowledge and skills to help support young people to think critically about intimacy, pleasure, and healthy relationships.

Speakers include experts from government agencies, NGOs, education, and academia from the US, UK, India, Sweden, and Turkey.

REGISTER

All those who register will receive free access to the full conference video recording.

Agenda

Times are EST

Saturday, October 2

8:00-8:15 amWelcome & Introduction
Dr. Gail Dines (Culture Reframed)
Michael Conroy (Men at Work)
8:15-9:00 amGrowing up in a Porn Culture: How Hypersexualized Images Undermine Healthy Development
Dr. Gail Dines
Professor Emerita of Sociology and Women’s Studies
President, Culture Reframed
9:00-9:45 amCrime, Children, and Pornography
Dr. Sharon W. Cooper, M.D. FAAP
Developmental and Forensic Pediatrics, P.A.
9:45-10:00 amBreak
10:00-10:45 amDeveloping and Delivering Anti-Exploitation Work in Schools
Dr. Tamasine Preece
Curriculum Lead for Health and Wellbeing, South Wales
10:45-11:15 amThe Intersection of Porn and Masculinity
Tom Farr
Head of Legal Advocacy, Centre to End All Sexual Exploitation (UK)
11:15 am-12:00 pmSex Education Through an Anti-Racist and Anti-Porn Lens
Dr. Carolyn West
Professor of Psychology and Resident Fellow of the Office of Community Partnerships, University of Washington, Tacoma
12:00-12:30 pmPornography, Algorithms, and Bots: How the Pornography Industry Shapes the Sexual Health Life Course of Adolescents
Dr. Jennifer Johnson
Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology, Virginia Tech
12:30-12:45 pmBreak
12:45-1:30 pmBreakout Sessions
1:30-1:45 pmReport Back from Breakout Sessions
1:45-2:00 pmClosing Remarks for Day One
Dr. Tamasine Preece and Tom Farr

Sunday, October 3

8:00-8:15 amWelcome Remarks
Dr. Gail Dines and Samantha Wechsler
(Culture Reframed)
8:15-8:45 amComprehensive Sexuality Education is the Antidote to Pornography’s Ills
Al Vernacchio
Sexuality Education Coordinator, Friends’ Central School
8:45-9:15 amHow Do Young People Access Pornography?
Dr. Tamasine Preece
Curriculum Lead for Health and Wellbeing, South Wales
9:15-9:45 amWomen on Porn
Dr. Fiona Vera-Gray
Centre for Research Into Violence and Abuse (CRIVA), Durham University
9:45-10:00 amBreak
10:00-10:30 amSex Does Not Exist in India!
Anju Kish
Sexuality Educator, UnTaboo
10:30 am-11:00 amFrom Violence Against Women and Children to Empowerment: What Happened to Feminism?
Dr. Gail Dines
Professor Emerita of Sociology and Women Studies
President, Culture Reframed
11:00-11:45 amGrowing Up in a Porn Culture: The Culture Reframed Response
Samantha Wechsler
Executive Director, Culture Reframed
11:45-12:00 pmBreak
12:00-12:45 pmBreakout Sessions
12:45-1:00 pmReport Back from Breakout Sessions
1:00-1:45 pmQ&A on Next Steps
Dr. Tamasine Preece
Dr. Gail Dines
1:45-2:00 pmClosing Comments
Dr. Gail Dines and Samantha Wechsler
(Culture Reframed)

Presentations

 

Growing up in a Porn Culture: How Hypersexualized Images Undermine Healthy Development
Dr. Gail Dines
Professor Emerita of Sociology and Women’s Studies
President, Culture Reframed

In light of the contemporary research on the harms of porn, it is crucial that experts and professionals tasked with developing healthy and resilient youth both understand the multiple social, emotional, and cognitive harms of pornography, and work to develop strategies to counter the misogynist messages, ideologies, and tropes that are encoded in the images. Toward this end, this workshop will provide: (1) a content analysis and deconstruction of mainstream pornography and hypersexualized images; (2) a detailed account of the peer-reviewed literature on the harms of pornography, and (3) a nuanced discussion of the way women are harmed in the production, distribution, and consumption of pornography.

This workshop will further explore the ways that social media platforms targeted to youth intersect with the porn industry, and how these platforms drive kids to mainstream porn sites. The porn industry, always hunting for new markets, is looking to cash in on the popularity of Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok. And to keep porn under wraps, it’s often hidden behind hashtags and emojis that appear innocuous to the untrained eye, but are used as secret code to tag and search for particular types of porn.


Crime, Children, and Pornography
Dr. Sharon W. Cooper, M.D. FAAP
Developmental and Forensic Pediatrics, P.A.

From a public health perspective, the extreme availability of adult pornography to minor children and adolescents remains a constant concern for families, schools, mental health providers, communities, and juvenile justice systems. However, many are unaware of the use of adult pornography as a form of criminal facilitation of the victimization of children. This presentation will go beyond the discussion of the normalization of sexual harm that adult pornography provides to children and youth as brain maturation progresses. Mental health providers, school counselors, social workers, law enforcement and juvenile justice personnel, parents and caregivers who interact with children need to understand the role that visual sexually explicit content plays in behavior and victimization. Case examples will be provided regarding the use of adult pornography to groom children for mutual sexual contact and/or child-on-child sexual assault. In addition, there is an imperative need for professionals to understand the numerous ways that adult pornography is used to facilitate adult criminal sexual assaults upon children.


Developing and Delivering Anti-Exploitation Work in Schools
Dr. Tamasine Preece
Curriculum Lead for Health and Wellbeing, South Wales

Dr. Preece will discuss her approach to supporting learners to understand exploitation through a cultural, social, and media lens. Dr. Preece argues that a curriculum that explicitly counters sexual exploitation is distinct from but should run parallel to sex and relationship education, introducing students to knowledge that will enable them to become informed global citizens, exercise critical thinking skills when it comes to a range of media, and make choices that keep themselves and others safe.


The Intersection of Porn and Masculinity
Tom Farr
Head of Legal Advocacy
Centre to End All Sexual Exploitation (CEASE)

Farr will examine the intersection of porn and masculinity, and how a culture in which male entitlement thrives both facilitates and encourages male sexual violence against women and girls within the context of the porn industry, and further, within relationships that exist outside of it.


Sex Education Through an Anti-Racist and Anti-Porn Lens
Dr. Carolyn West
Professor of Psychology and Resident Fellow of the Office of Community Partnerships
University of Washington, Tacoma

Our efforts to provide quality sex education will be ineffective if we ignore the pervasive nature of pornography, and the ways the images harness the very worst of racist tropes. Given the ubiquity of these tropes – from Black men as rapists of white women to Black women as hypersexualized “Jezebels” – that permeate mainstream porn, and the ways these tropes work to cement the material reality of racism, is it crucial for us to deconstruct the ways women and men of color are represented in porn. The images of women and men of color mainstream and legitimize the systemic racism that is encoded in the institutions that, at best, curtail the lives of people of color, and at worst, threaten their lives.

What’s more, in a multi-racial society, we can no longer provide sex education using a color-blind and culturally bland perspective. Dr. West will use her 30 years as a sex educator, media scholar, intersectional theorist, and activist to challenge the audience to think differently about sex education. Participants will leave with skills to provide sex education through an anti-racist and anti-porn lens that promotes healthy relationships.


Pornography, Algorithms, and Bots: How the Pornography Industry Shapes the Sexual Health Life Course of Adolescents
Dr. Jennifer Johnson
Professor and Chair of Sociology
Virginia Tech

The digital pornography industry produces an estimated 4-20% of all digital media, which now serves as the primary sexual education curriculum for adolescents. Understanding the techno-economic structure of this industry and its impact on sexual health is essential to understanding how adolescents come to find and experience modern pornography. Digital pornography is, at its core, a commercial artifact. It is not a reflection of innate sexual desires, personal choice, or politics of free speech. Instead, it is a product that is produced, distributed, and marketed by a profit-seeking industry that develops and deploys advanced technologies such as algorithms and bots designed to encapsulate viewers in a labyrinth of hypersexualized content. These algorithms and bots curate and prioritize content based on click-through rates and conversion of free surfers to paying customers. As such, content that is easily accessible is that which is most appealing to paying consumers; in other words, adult men who are most active in their pornographic habits. Thus, inexperienced adolescents begin their sexual awakening with content preferred by experienced adult men. Understanding the implications of a pornographic landscape that is more corporate and technological than personal and intimate is an essential piece of comprehensive and effective sexual education.


Comprehensive Sexuality Education is the Antidote to Pornography’s Ills
Al Vernacchio
Sexuality Education Coordinator, Friends’ Central School

Too many young people use pornography as their main form of sexuality education, which leads them to develop significantly unhealthy views about themselves, their partners, sexual activity, and sexuality in general. Young people who receive age-appropriate, medically accurate, comprehensive sexuality education develop the tools needed to counter porn’s unhealthy messages and replace them with those that lead to healthier lives. Join sexuality educator Vernacchio as he discusses lessons he teaches to his students to combat pornography’s harmful and inaccurate messages.


How do Young People Access Pornography?
Dr. Tamasine Preece
Curriculum Lead for Health and Wellbeing, South Wales

Dr. Preece outlines how access to pornography transcends porn sites to social media apps, gaming, film, and TV and popular culture. Dr. Preece presents how and why practitioners need to address pornography across a range of media contexts such as the normalization of sexual violence, the impact on fashion, body image and body modification, and the influence of pornography on how young people seek out and frame relationships.


Women on Porn
Dr. Fiona Vera-Gray
Centre for Research Into Violence and Abuse (CRIVA)
Durham University

The Women on Porn project has been one of the biggest research projects in the UK focused specifically on understanding women’s experiences of mainstream online pornography. Encompassing interviews with 100 women from 18-70, the study provides startling new evidence about women’s engagements with porn. This workshop will examine the social functions of pornography for younger women, focusing on porn as a mode of expression and conversation, porn as a method for exploration and validation, and, crucially, porn as a means of setting expectations and providing instruction.


Sex Does Not Exist in India!
Anju Kish
Sexuality Educator & Founder, UnTaboo

Sex is our national secret. It is ironic that in a country like India, which is the second most populated in the world, we rarely speak to our children about sex. They are initially shielded from any conversations on the topic, and as they grow older, they are simply expected to know. This transition from ‘not knowing’ to ‘suddenly knowing’ and the means used to ‘get to know’ is rarely questioned. Unfortunately, porn has taken over the role of sex educator and that is cause for concern. The rise of teenage pregnancies, sexual abuse, STI’s, sexual harassment, and toxic relationships are testament to the fact that we need to break the wall of silence and let sexuality education into our homes and schools. To do that, we first need to decode and destigmatize sexuality education. We need to make it an essential part of a child’s education and thus help raise an aware and responsible generation. That will have a ripple effect and lead to a safer society.


From Violence Against Women and Children to Empowerment: What Happened to Feminism?
Dr. Gail Dines
President, Culture Reframed

In the 1980s and 1990s, the feminist movement developed a sophisticated and nuanced theory about the harms of pornography. Starting from the premise that porn was a form of sexual violence against women in both its production and consumption, mainstream feminism understood activism against the porn industry as part of a larger strategy to stop sexual violence. Today, mainstream feminism has come to embrace pornography as sexual empowerment for women. This presentation will explore the seismic changes that have taken place in feminism, and the ways these shifts obfuscate the inherent violence in pornography. We also will examine the ways in which this paradigm shift works to undermine the sexual health and emotional well-being of young people by mainstreaming and legitimizing filmed acts of sexual assault. We will end by discussing how to reclaim a feminism— through education and activism—that refuses to collaborate with the sex industry.


Growing Up in a Porn Culture: The Culture Reframed Approach
Samantha Wechsler
Executive Director, Culture Reframed

Prior to 2000, most young people, especially boys, would first encounter pornographic images in magazines such as Playboy and Penthouse. Their access to these (mainly) soft-core images was limited, so it was not a pivotal issue in terms of sexual health and development of young people, and pornography did not serve as the primary source of sex education. Research shows that since 2000, the internet has become the main vehicle for porn, and hardcore porn is just a click away—it is free, violent, and based on the degradation and abuse of women.

Culture Reframed’s Parents Programs are designed to help build resilience and resistance in young people to pornography and hypersexualized media. The second half of this webinar will cover the conceptualization of the programs, the theory of change that underlies the overall strategy and vision, how (and why) they were developed to ensure scientific credibility, and the way in which the programs are part of—and promote—a public health approach to the problem of hypersexualized media and pornography.

Breakout Sessions
Saturday, October 2

 

Session 1: Working with Young People to Build Healthy Relationships
Philipa Harvey and Kiri Tunks
Educators

How can we enable young people to build healthy relationships and a sense of positive self-worth? What should schools be doing to ensure young people are well-informed and confident in these relationships – and how can we overcome the obstacles they face?
Philipa Harvey and Kiri Tunks are two practicing teachers who will bring experience of how these questions are addressed in schools and colleges; what prevents schools from delivering the kind of relationship and sex education our young people need; and what we need to do to put that right.


Session 2: Sweden – At the Forefront of Gender Equality and Sexual Education?
Olga Persson
Unizon

Sweden is known as a country at the forefront of the work for women’s rights, gender equality, and the right to sexual education in schools. However, Sweden is also a country with high rates of porn consumption; of only 5% convictions of accused rapists; of increasing numbers of girls who are victims of sugar dating, pornography production, and prostitution; and where 1 out of 3 young women are victims of sexual violence.

Sexual education has been mandatory in Swedish schools since the 1950s, and was present even decades before that. It has mainly focused on reproduction and biology, and the prevention of STD’s and information based on reproductive rights such as abortion. Much of the work in schools has been done by civil society, as the subject has not been mandatory in teacher trainings. Sweden’s liberal views on sex and sexuality have left their mark on sexual education and it is not until the past few years that violence prevention and harms of pornography has been raised as an issue in Sweden – and then mostly by the women’s movement.

Olga Persson will give an overview of the situation in Sweden, and her experiences of being at the forefront of the work for a gender-equal society free from violence.


Session 3: First Things First – A Case for Talking with Boys and Young Men About Entitlement before Talking About Consent
Michael Conroy
Men at Work

Meaningful, clear, and consistent work with young people on consent is essential. We must ask ourselves, however, whether we are trying to have these conversations with boys and young men before – and even without – exploring notions of entitlement. Culturally transmitted notions of male entitlement to women’s bodies – exemplified viscerally within porn – help shape values and worldviews which can make ignoring consent possible and even probable. How much more effective might our conversations about consent be by digging deeper and looking upstream?


Session 4: Practical Approaches to Addressing Pornography in the Classroom
Dr. Tamasine Preece
Curriculum Lead for Health and Wellbeing, South Wales

How do we support learners to identify the impact on their lives, relationships, and community in porn-saturated childhoods? Dr. Preece outlines the theory and practical application of an anti-exploitation curriculum to support the development of critical thinking and media analysis to keep learners and their relationships safe.


Session 5: Talking to Young People About Porn: How to Ask the Difficult Questions to get the Discussion Started
April Brooks
Lead Nurse, Devon Sexual Health, NHS, UK

You’ve done the training about porn, you know the theory and you recognise the impact porn is having on the young people you work with. But have you had the experience that a young person has wanted to tell you something, perhaps something sensitive, something slightly embarrassing, something that you know needs to be explored further; but you just don’t know how to ask the right questions to start the conversation?

Colleagues from health, social care, education and youth work environments often tell us during sexual health training that they want to be able to talk about porn, but they ask us: how do I actually raise the subject with the young person seated in front of me?

This workshop aims to share how sexual health staff ask the important questions in the right context and get the information needed to take the conversation forward, including:

  • What are the themes that young people present with that might raise a conversation about porn?
  • How do you ask the difficult questions without shutting the conversation down?
  • And once you’ve had the discussion and identified a problem, what do you do next?

Session 6: How The Female Dating Strategy Is Changing the Narrative of Sexual Empowerment
Reaux, Lilith, and Savannah
Hosts and Producers, The Female Dating Strategy podcast

Reaux, Lilith, and Savannah will address the effect that pornography and “sex-pozzy” feminism has had on shaping young women’s dating and sexual experiences, what The Female Dating Strategy is doing to change the discussion on porn use and sexual empowerment, and the ensuing media backlash.


Breakout Sessions
Sunday, October 3

 

Session 1: Online Addictions, Exploitation, and the Devastating Reality of Sexual Assault Among Children
Heidi Olson, MSN, RN, CPN, SANE-P
Children’s Mercy Kansas City

Louise Barraclough (RGN DFSRH)
Devon Sexual Health Services/Integrated Safeguarding Team – NHS Northern Devon Healthcare Trust

It’s no secret that child sexual assault is rampant across the world. However, most people do not realize that a large percentage of those committing sexual assaults against children are children themselves. As a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner in a hospital that sees a high volume of sexual assault victims, Heidi Olson has noted that many of the perpetrators acting out are 11–15-year-old males. This alarming trend comes as a surprise, as many people assume perpetrators are adult men who groom children through a range of techniques. This presentation addresses the overwhelming number of children who are being assaulted, factors influencing children who act out in sexually harmful ways, the impact of abuse and exploitation, and ways that kids can get help for problematic sexual behaviors.

Louise Barraclough has recently conducted an original piece of research in collaboration with police and social care exploring ‘the potential relationship between children’s use of and/or exposure to easily available online pornography and Harmful Sexual Behavior between children’. Barraclough will present the results, talk about the themes and patterns that she sees in their service, and what she believes the priorities should be in responding to individual children and addressing this significant and growing societal and cultural harm for all children—victims and actors alike.


Session 2: Sex Education with a Porn-Critical Lens for Tweens in Turkey
Nilufer Devecigil
Therapist, Psychology Istanbul

In 2020, in response to concern about the impact of pornography, Psychology Istanbul partnered with Culture Reframed to adapt its curriculum on teaching sex education with a porn-critical lens for tweens in Turkey. Psychology Istanbul pilot-taught Culture Reframed’s Program for Parents of Tweens to a group of 300 people consisting of therapists, social workers, schoolteachers, educators, clinicians, and parents in order for them to test the program curriculum with small groups of parents and tweens in Turkey. Although pornography viewing is common among tweens and teens in Turkey, the culture ignores the existence of the problem and is silent about it. In Turkey, there is no research done on the frequent viewing among tweens and teens as well as its potential harm on them. Psychology Istanbul believes that the uncritical viewing of pornography may contribute to unhealthy attitudes about sexual consent and dating violence. This presentation will provide details about the design and the development of the training that was offered to therapists, as well as the implementation of this process.


Session 3: Reimagining Sex Ed: Educating Students to Challenge the Pervasive Impact of Porn
Chelsea Maxwell Ed.M.
Dr. Sharon Maxwell Ph.D.
Maxwell Education

Comprehensive sex ed starts with the premise that sex is a magnificent part of the human experience and that every person has a right to discover what sex, intimacy, and pleasure mean to them—unencumbered by media and social manipulation. The pervasive impact of porn culture denies our children the right to that discovery. As educators, we must address the cultural impact of porn to meet our students where they live. Through honest discussions and accurate information, we can empower students to challenge this culture and reclaim their right to discover their own sexual selves. Using real-life scenarios, this workshop invites participants to analyze eight ways that porn culture impacts our lives and how to address this impact with students.


Session 4: We Can’t Prevent Sexual Harassment and Assault if We’re Not Willing to Talk About and Confront Porn Culture
Dr. Jackson Katz
Founder/President, MVP Strategies

This session, delivered by a longtime, pioneering educator and anti-sexist activist who has developed pedagogical strategies that engage men, young men, and boys of every ethnic and racial background, will focus on the need to integrate education about porn into sex education and gender violence prevention education.


Session 5: Programs to Practice: Working Together to Reframe our Culture
Dr. Mandy Sanchez
Program Coordinator, Culture Reframed

This session, facilitated by Culture Reframed’s Program Coordinator, will provide a brief overview of Culture Reframed Parents Programs, aimed at building young people’s resilience and resistance to hypersexualized media and pornography. Culture Reframed programs promote healthy development through culturally competent, research-driven, and age-based educational videos, conversation scripts, and resources for parents and those working with youth. This interactive session will explore how sex educators can incorporate our programs and enrichments into their own work, exploring ways to better inform programs and practices that build knowledge, skills, and confidence to promote and support young people’s healthy sexuality and resilience to porn culture.

Speakers

Louise Barraclough’s role as the Specialist Safeguarding Nurse involves (among many other things) case management of complex safeguarding and child protection, multi-agency collaboration with police and children’s social care and policy development. The service she works for cares for, on average, 4-5 children per week; Harmful Sexual Behavior (HSB) between children consistently accounts for at least 30% of those cases.

Websites:
Devon & Cornwall SARC
Devon Sexual Health
North Devon Healthcare

April Brooks has worked in the field of sexual and reproductive health care for over 20 years. Working on the frontline, in busy NHS clinics, Brooks supports patients requesting help and support with STIs and contraception, alongside varied sexual problems and concerns. Since the start of her career, she has had a special interest in safeguarding, and working with young people and vulnerable groups. In her current post, Brooks supports her team as a safeguarding lead, helping to manage complex presentations and referrals. She also regularly provides sexual health training to health, social care and educational professionals.

In recent years, Brooks has begun to recognize how porn is impacting patients presenting to her in clinic. She has become experienced in addressing the issue of porn as part of her sexual history taking discussion, and is keen to share her experiences from clinic with others.

Website

Michael Conroy trains education and youth-sector professionals in confidently facilitating structured dialogues with boys and young men on sexism, misogyny and the social construction of masculinity. His programmes and resources are used with tweens and adolescents.

Conroy has worked in Secondary Education in England for 16 years. School- and community-based programmes and initiatives which Conroy has steered have been recognised by awards, including a Sinnott Fellowship and a Suzy Lamplugh Young Person’s Safety Award.

Conroy has presented on his acclaimed male-focused work at the National Education Union’s ‘Challenging Sexism in Schools’ conferences, the National Men in Early Years Conference and the Young Workers Trades Union Conference (YTUC). He recorded a TEDx Youth Talk in October 2018 and in December 2018 was an expert contributor to the Women & Equalities Select Committee in Parliament on the topic of Sexual Harassment.

Website

Dr. Sharon Cooper is a Developmental and Forensic Pediatrician who cares for children and select adults with different abilities, as well as those who have been victims of crime. Dr. Cooper retired from the United States Army with the rank of Colonel and holds adjunct faculty positions at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences at Bethesda, Maryland. She has worked in the area of Forensic Pediatrics since 1980. She has provided numerous lectures nationally and internationally and her primary areas of expertise include all areas of child behavior, child maltreatment, child torture and child sexual exploitation. Dr. Cooper has published numerous chapters on the subject of child sexual exploitation and is the lead editor of one of the most comprehensive texts in the U.S. on this subject. She is an international consultant in the area of child sexual abuse material (the correct term for images formerly referred to as child pornography). As a Developmental and Forensic Pediatrician, Dr. Cooper evaluates and treats children and families who have experienced adult pornography-facilitated sexual crimes.

Nilufer Devecigil completed her education at American Claremont Colleges, and then got her Master’s degree at the Naropa University on “Transpersonal Counseling Psychology.” Practicing Gestalt and somatic approaches to psychology, Devecigil had the opportunity to work with pioneering therapists such as the creators of Experiential Play Therapy, Carol and Byron Norton, and Pat Ogden, known for her trauma expertise. She participated in Somatic Practices course by Diane Poole Heller in Germany and studied meditation and mindfulness throughout her education in Naropa.

In Turkey, she conducts mindfulness courses and group workshops, as well as coaches parents. She also has teaching certificates from the University of Michigan on Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT – Teacher Training) and from New York Omega Center on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). Devecigil teaches play therapy to psychologists in Turkey. In addition to parental coaching, she writes parenting articles and works as a consultant for Doğan Egmont group’s Parent Academy publications. She is also the author of the book “Işığın Yolu,” published by Doğan Kitap.

Website

Dr. Gail Dines of Culture Reframed

Dr. Gail Dines, a Professor Emerita of Sociology and Women’s Studies, has been researching and writing about the harms of pornography for over thirty years. She is a recipient of the Myers Center Award for the Study of Human Rights in North America, and author of numerous books and articles. Her latest book, Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality, has been translated into five languages.

Dr. Dines is the Founder and President of the non-profit, Culture Reframed. Dedicated to building resilience and resistance in children and youth to the harms of a hypersexualized and pornified society, Culture Reframed develops cutting-edge educational programs that promote healthy development, relationships, and sexuality. Dr. Dines has worked with organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, The Centers for Disease Control, The International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals, as well as government bodies in the US, Brazil, UK, Sweden, Iceland, Norway, Colombia, and Canada. She regularly appears on CNN, NPR, BBC, CBC, and writes for media outlets such as The Guardian, The Washington Post, Newsweek, and The Boston Globe. Her TEDx talk focuses on the harms of growing up in a porn culture.

Website

Tom Farr initially joined CEASE as a member of the board of trustees, before moving into his current role as Head of Legal Advocacy. In this role, he engages with Government Departments, NGOs, and Intergovernmental Organisations – including the Home Office, the Law Commission, and the United Nations – to advocate for law reform that seeks to afford better legal protections to those subjected to sexual exploitation. His recent work includes offering policy proposals on how the Modern Slavery Act 2015 can be amended to protect prostituted individuals, and why the UK Government should recognise the porn industry as a facilitator of male violence against women and girls (MVAWG).

Farr has an extensive background in the human rights and legal sectors, including working and advising on cases in the First-Tier Tribunal (SSCS), Magistrates’, High Court, and Court of Appeal (Criminal, Civil, and Family Divisions). He is a Middle Temple Gardiner Scholar, a BPP Law School Scholar receiving separate awards for both Advocacy and Career Commitment, and he graduated 1st and 2nd in his year on his Master’s degree (LLM Human Rights Law) and on the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL), respectively.

Website

Dr. Fiona Vera-Gray is an Assistant Professor in Sociology at Durham University, UK, with a practitioner background in sexual violence prevention. Her research focuses on violence against women and girls, primarily sexual violence and harassment. Her project, ‘Women on Porn’ is the first full-length study on the range of women’s relationships and engagements with mainstream online pornography in the UK.

Website

Philipa Harvey is a primary teacher, trade union activist, and socialist. She has been active in the labour movement for more than thirty years, including as a member of both the National Union of Teachers and National Education Union Executive and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) General Council. She has been Chair of the TUC Women’s Committee and is a Past-President of the NUT (now NEU). She is a founding member of Woman’s Place UK.

Dr. Jennifer A. Johnson, Ph,D., is Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology at Virginia Tech. Previously, she was an Associate Professor and Chair of Sociology at Virginia Commonwealth University. She received her PhD in Sociology from the University of Virginia in 2004 and joined the faculty of VCU in 2005. She also has worked for the Department of Defense as a Social Science Analyst for which she was awarded the 2006 Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joint Distinguished Civilian Service Award, the highest-ranking civilian service award given by the Chairman. Broadly, she studies the impact of digital media on sexual and mental health. Her current work analyzes the relationship between pornography consumption and adolescent sexual health as well as a social network analysis of online pornography to map how the industry markets and relates to users. Her work has appeared in International Journal of Media & Cultural Politics, Journal of Women’s Health, Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, and Archives of Sexual Behavior. She is the co-leader on a $3m ADVANCE-IT NSF grant aimed at improving the advancement of STEM female faculty across intersecting identities.

Website

Dr. Jackson Katz, Ph.D., has long been a major figure and thought leader in the growing global movement of men working to promote gender equality and prevent gender violence. He is co-founder of the multiracial, mixed-gender Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) program, one of the longest-running and most widely influential gender violence prevention programs in North America and beyond. MVP was the first large-scale prevention initiative in sports culture and the U.S. military, and introduced “bystander” training to the sexual assault and domestic violence prevention fields. Katz is the author of numerous articles and two books, including the bestseller The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help. He created the award-winning Tough Guise documentary series, as well as The Bystander Moment: Transforming Rape Culture at Its Roots, and The Man Card: White Male Identity Politics from Nixon to Trump. Katz also has appeared in numerous popular documentaries, including Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes, Miss Representation and The Mask You Live In. His TEDx talk, Violence Against Women Is a Men’s Issue, has nearly 5 million views. He has lectured and trained in all fifty states, eight Canadian provinces and every continent except Antarctica.

Website

Anju Kish is a name that is synonymous with sex education in India. She is a double graduate in law and mass communication, who left her advertising job for the challenging world of sexuality education in 2011—all because of a question her 7-year-old asked. In a country like India, where even the word ‘SEX’ is such a taboo, Kish has managed to open conversations and make an impact. Her company is thus aptly named UnTaboo!

She uses multiple formats to shift cultural paradigms, promote and impart sexuality education – workshops, school programs, books, music videos, blogs, columns, animated videos, and even stand-up comedy. A four-time TEDx Speaker, Kish has authored an award-winning sex education book for children, ‘How I got my Belly Button’, and is currently writing three more books on the subject. A changemaker and entrepreneur, she has been covered by all top media houses in India for her pioneering work in the field.

Website

Dr. Sharon and Chelsea Maxwell, a mother-daughter team, design and deliver presentations, workshops, and curricula to schools and organizations throughout North America. Bringing together the perspectives and insights of an educator and a psychologist, they teach their Sexual Health and Responsibility curriculum at public and independent schools internationally, and support parents in communicating their values and ethics through meaningful dialogue. Additionally, they offer parents and educators practical ways to help children successfully navigate the world of media technology.

Chelsea Maxwell specialized in curriculum development as well as technology and innovation at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. In addition to teaching sex ed, she is running groups for young women to explore topics such as body image, healthy relationships, pleasure, and consent in a safe and supportive environment.

Dr. Maxwell is a practicing clinical psychologist, specializing in adolescent and family therapy. She is the author of the award-winning book, THE TALK: A Breakthrough Guide to Raising Healthy Kids in an Oversexualized, Online, In-your-face World, which has been published in five countries, including mainland China.

Website

Heidi Olson is the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program Manager at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. Olson has a wide range of experience in pediatric and forensic nursing and her role includes performing forensic exams on children who have been victims of sexual assault, communicating with law enforcement, child protective services, and a large multidisciplinary team. Olson also serves as an expert witness in sexual assault criminal trials. Olson has performed or reviewed approximately 1,500 child sexual abuse exams in the last four years and has presented over 200 times internationally about human trafficking, sexual assault, pornography, and exploitation. Olson started and co-chairs the Human Trafficking Work Group at Children’s Mercy. In 2019, Olson testified in favor of a bill detailing the need for therapy and resources for youth with problematic sexual behaviors, and the bill was signed into Kansas law.

Website

Dr. Tamasine Preece is Curriculum Lead for Health and Wellbeing at a secondary school in South Wales. Following the completion of her PhD in 2014 on the subject of Adolescent Suicide, Self-harm, and Social Media use, she has carried out freelance consultancy alongside her teaching, predominantly in fields related to her PhD as well as sexual health. Preece is a member of the Expert Panel for national charity Internet Matters and has previously attended the Welsh Government PSE Advisory Group and RSE Expert Panel. Preece’s approach to addressing Violence Against Women and Girls, Domestic Abuse, and Sexual Violence was recognised as a Best Practice Guide by Welsh Government in guidance for schools. Preece has previously presented her work on Inclusive Sex and Relationship Education at national conferences, including Inside Government, Westminster Briefing and on behalf of the Hackney Learning Trust. She has consulted for a number of third-sector organisations to include Welsh Women’s Aid and Theatre in organisations’ projects related to disability, hate crimes, and sexual violence and consent.

Reaux, Lilith, and Savannah are the hosts and producers of the weekly podcast The Female Dating Strategy. The Female Dating Strategy podcast launched in March 2021 as a spinoff from the popular subreddit of the same name, Reddit.com/r/FemaleDatingStrategy (aka “FDS”), which organically formed on Reddit in 2019 as a place for women to discuss strategies to improve their overall dating experience. The Female Dating Strategy has been both lauded and criticized by mainstream media (including The Wall Street Journal, The Verge, Mel Magazine, Vice, and The Atlantic) for its no holds barred critique of pop feminist media, sex & dating norms, and porn culture.

Website

Dr. Mandy Sanchez holds her doctorate in Sociology with a specialization in Criminology and Women’s Studies. Sanchez specializes in domestic and sexual violence, the intersectionality of gender, sexualities, place, and trauma, and justice-involved women and children. Sanchez is a trained facilitator and as the Program Coordinator for Culture Reframed, she focuses on expanding, developing, and ensuring high quality, comprehensive, impactful programming for parents and adults who are influential in children’s and teens’ lives.

Website

Kiri Tunks is a secondary teacher, local union officer, school governor, political campaigner, and socialist. She has been a longtime campaigner and equality activist within the trade union movement and is a Past-President of the NUT/NEU. In 1991, she co-edited a collection of letters to Clare Short MP in response to the MP’s campaign against Page 3 (Dear Clare…This is what women feel about Page 3). Tunks is a co-founder of Woman’s Place UK, which was established to ensure women’s voices are heard in public debate.

Tunks worked to challenge sexism and sexual harassment in schools, the union and the wider trade union movement through the creation of resources, schemes of work, training materials and political organizing. She has organized large conferences on Challenging Sexism for young people and educators, and helped to develop anti-sexist policy and practice at local and national levels.

Al Vernacchio teaches at Friends’ Central School in Wynnewood, Penn. He is the N-12 Sexuality Education Coordinator. He teaches classes, organizes sexuality-themed programs and student assemblies, provides parent education on human sexuality topics, and is one of the faculty advisors for the Gender and Sexual Orientation Alliance (GSoA). A Human Sexuality educator and consultant for over 25 years, Vernacchio has lectured, published articles, and offered workshops throughout the country. His work has been featured in publications throughout the US and abroad. He has given four TED Talks, and has appeared on national programs such as NPR’s “Morning Edition,” “1A,” and “The Pulse.” Vernacchio is the author of For Goodness Sex: Changing the Way We Talk to Young People About Sexuality, Values, and Health published by Harper Wave, a division of HarperCollins. Vernacchio earned his BA in Theology from St. Joseph’s University and his MSEd in Human Sexuality Education from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a member of The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS), The American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT), and Advanced Sexuality Educators and Trainers (ASET).

Website

​​Samantha Wechsler is a proven leader who brings expertise in facilitating difficult conversations, positioning organizations for change and growth, and developing innovative, effective programming. Much of Wechsler’s career has been devoted to creating, improving, and expanding opportunities for children and youth. As the Executive Director of Culture Reframed, Wechsler helps set the overall strategy for the organization and outlines short-, medium-, and long-term goals and activities to achieve the organization’s mission.

Website

Dr. Carolyn West is Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Washington, where she teaches courses on Human Sexuality, Sexual Deviance, Sex Crimes, and Sexual Violence. Dr. West has been a sex educator for more than thirty years and has written extensively on racism in sexualized media. In 2018, she produced the documentary “Let me tell ya’ll ‘bout Black chicks: Images of Black women in pornography.” Dr. West trains, consults, and speaks to national and international audiences. She has worked as an expert witness in domestic violence/sexual assault cases, delivered keynote addresses, conducted workshops, and created innovative training materials to educate and equip professionals with the skills to provide culturally sensitive services to survivors of color.

In recognition of her scholarship, the University of Washington has awarded her the Bartley Dobb Professorship for Study and Prevention of Violence (2005-2008), the 2013 Distinguished Teaching Award, and the 2016 Distinguished Research Award. In 2021 she was honored as the inaugural Resident Fellow of the Office of Community Partnership at the University of Washington Tacoma.

Website