Age of consent examined in
Channel 4 sex series
By Tom Leonard,
Channel 4 is to examine whether the age of consent
should be lowered to 14 in a series of programmes devoted to teenage
sex, it said yesterday.
The Adult At 14 season will offer a "realistic
examination of teenage sexuality" in a succession of programmes
highlighting the increasingly sexualised world in which children
In one episode, Age Of Consent, the presenter,
Miranda Sawyer, argues that sex below the age of 16 should be
Another documentary, Porn To Be Young, will interview
young people about their attitude towards pornography, while in 14
Alone, a group of 10 14-year-old boys and girls will be allowed to
spend five days and nights together in a house without adult
supervision, television or computer games.
This is a follow-up to Boys Alone and the subsequent
Girls Alone, a televised social experiment that attracted criticism
for putting a group of 11-year-olds in a house to fend for
The programme claims it will offer an insight into
"this tender age when children are on the cusp of adulthood".
A Channel 4 spokesman stressed that rules would be
imposed and a camera crew would be present at all times to ensure
things did not get out of hand. "This is not like Big Brother where
they are left completely alone. There will be cameramen in the house
with them," she said.
Although the season focuses on the subject of teenage
sexuality, sex will be banned in the house.
Channel 4 will also screen Pleasureland, a
feature-length drama set in Liverpool about the pressures on
teenagers to have sex before the age of 16.
The channel, which has been criticised in the past
for packing its schedules with supposedly serious-minded programmes
about sex, will also broadcast Pornography: The Musical, an
assortment of sex workers singing about their lives.
Away from sex, Channel 4's new autumn season heavily
indulges another human obsession, with seven different series about
the property market and people moving home.
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