Eight-year-olds in TT and, in some cases, children even younger are being sexually stimulated either by their own choice or by other people, behaviour change consultant Franklyn Dolly said yesterday.
And he believes faith-based organisations and not the Government, should lead the charge in a national discussion as efforts, thus far, have not dealt comprehensively with the issue.
“I am quite certain that if a study was done now, the amount of young children eight, ten, 12, will tell you that they are being sexually stimulated either by their own choice or by other people. It is very, very high, and, therefore, they are expressing that,” Dolly said.
He was responding to Newsday’s lead story, yesterday, which revealed girls were making and distributing child pornography videos in TT.
The revelation was made at a public hearing of Parliament’s Human Rights Equality and Diversity Joint Select Committee.
The committee’s chairman Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly said child pornography was affecting the society but remained a little known fact.
She said of the 69 child pornography reports received by the Ministry of Education over the last five years, 67 per cent of the 69 cases were girls involved in child pornography.
Dolly observed: “The point I am making is that we are so highly-stimulated sexually, particularly the young generation.”
He said activities such as Carnival only fuelled the problem.
“Then we make it so easy, particularly coming down to this season here that we are going to be having this Carnival. The more provocative that we can dress, we are dressing like that now.”
He added: “We are really praising girls when they dress like that. We seeing it everywhere. Now that they have all of these fetes, look at the young people going to the fetes. Not those who 30 and 40 and 50 going to the all-inclusives.
“When you look at those other little parties, you will see the wear they are having, the behaviour and the way they dance to the music.
“They are very, very sexual and it is being praised particularly by this younger generation. We really have to start looking at what is happening.”
Dolly said overtly sexual behaviour among very young people also could be seen in simple school functions, especially in the way in which they dance and socialise.
The behaviour change consultant also said many young people were sexually stimulated “not by their own design but what is happening in their homes by other people, both male and female.”
Calling for a more holistic approach to the teaching of sex education, encompassing mind, body and soul, Dolly said: “We dealing with sexual things without not fully understanding the age to really deal with it. So, we really have to look at that as a society.
“We have sex education in the schools as part of hygiene, as part of the physical thing. But then there is the emotional part of it, the spiritual part of it, the mental part of the sexuality we don’t discuss.”
He added: “But, in terms of discussing it in terms of what happens to you mentally, emotionally, those are the kinds of things we not getting.”
Dolly said these issues are ventilated in his sessions with the young people.
“So, we are making them more emotionally intelligent to deal with the thoughts they are exposed to.”