Christian Graugaard, a sexology professor at Aalborg University in Denmark, argues that discussing the industry with teenagers could help them become "conscientious and critical consumers" and able to distinguish between pornography and the real sexual relationships, reported The Guardian Newspaper.
"Young people, like the rest of us, are part of a sexualized post-modern society," Graugaard said in an interview with Danish TV station DR.
"What I am proposing is that we reinvent sex education in the classroom. Rather than focusing on the technical disease-related or biological aspects of sex, we should also use this platform to discuss and show other phenomena, such as pornography, taught by trained teachers, so that young people can develop a critical approach to what they are seeing."
The professor suggested that trained teachers hold discussions with 8th and 9th graders, ages 15 and 16 respectively, since most teenagers have seen porn at a young age.
According to one Nordic study, 99% of boys and 86% of girls in Scandinavia have already seen pornographic films by the time they’re 16, reported The Guardian.
"We want our kids to have exciting and gratifying sex lives, so an open-minded, constructive dialogue is the best way to make sure that they are able to make meaningful decisions for themselves," he added. "It’s not our job to scare off teenagers; rather we should encourage them to explore the joys of sexuality in a safe way and on their own terms – instead of turning our backs on them."
But many in the region oppose his views, finding porn in the classroom to be more harmful.
"Pornography and sex education is definitely more of an issue than it used to be," Chris McGovern, chairman of British Campaign for Real Education told Newsweek. "Sexting is certainly an issue among young people, and it is a fact of life that children are sending sexual images to each other, which is being used by bullies. But I don’t think this Danish professor quite understands the damaging impact putting porn before young children could cause."
Denmark lifted the ban on pornography in 1967 and became the first country in the world to completely legalize it in 1969.