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Age of consent examined in Channel 4 sex series
By Tom Leonard, Media Editor
(Filed: 06/08/2003)

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 grow up.

In one episode, Age Of Consent, the presenter, Miranda Sawyer, argues that sex below the age of 16 should be legalised.

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 themselves.

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.

30 January 2003: New powers in Sex Bill to protect children
22 January 2003: Now Channel 4 is losing Frasier
13 December 2002: Girl, 14, flies to Turkey to wed barman
8 December 2002[Opinion]: Property is the new sex

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External links  
Coming up - thecustard.tv
Girls Alone, Think TV - Channel 4