This week a panel of 12 teen experts are fielding questions from teenagers and parents in a bid to advise on difficult teen issues. The experts are Australian, but free advice is being offered to anyone in the world, on topics such as drinking, drugs, unsafe sex, body image, relationships and dating to name a few.
Martine Oglethorpe is a teacher, counsellor and blogger on parenting and technology and she told Radio Australia Morning Show host Phil Kafcaloudes "it's not necessarily tougher being a teen today but it is very different in the way [teens are] having some of their experiences. They're experiencing a lot of stuff online and in public whereas we were able to do it more discreetly. So that's certainly more of a challenge for kids today."
According to the expert panel, the average age of first exposure to pornography is around 11 years old. Panellist Liz Walker is a Sexologist and educator on teen sexual health and says this raises a multitude of dilemma's for young people in regard to working out what is normal and where the sexual boundaries lie.
Unless young people have "got a solid grounding to go to, parents who are openly communicating or good sex education in school, they're getting these messages that's what sex is about, that's what sexual relationships are about so the propensity for them to mimic that is [presenting] all sorts of dilemmas. Young girls trying to figure out their boundaries, boys trying to figure out what am I supposed to do, what am I not supposed to do?" Ms Walker said.
The team of experts are inviting questions via their website this week: http://www.thekidsareallright.com.au/
Presenter: Phil Kafcaloudes
Speakers: Martine Oglethorpe, teacher, counsellor, blogger; Dannielle Miller, Female teenage expert and founder of Enlighten Education; Liz Walker, Sexologist