A Danish professor is calling for pornography to be shown in schools so children can learn to be "critical consumers" and distinguish between real-life sex and its unrealistic depiction in explicit films.
Professor Christian Graugaard believes the lessons could help combat the unrealistic expectations teenagers derive from watching hardcore pornography films, which are widely available online.
"Instead of having sex education be boring and technical, where you roll a condom on to a cucumber, I'd rather have us educate our children to be critical consumers who see porn with a certain distance and reflection," Graugaard, a sexology professor at Aalborg, told Danish broadcaster DR.
"We know that Nordic adolescents are quite capable of differentiating between pornography and the reality of sexual relationships, but at the same time we know a small minority do not have those skills, and to keep them out of trouble we need to reach out to them."
With recent studies showing up to 99% of Danish teenage boys and 86% of girls have watched pornography, he said if teenagers try to replicate what they see in porn films "it's is a recipe for broken necks and disappointment".
Danish students interviewed by the broadcaster were positive about the suggestion. "I think you could get something out of it – for example the difference between real love between two people who have sex and hard porn and orgies from the US," ninth grade student Anders Kaagaard told DR.
In the UK, 51% of parents believe pupils should not be educated about the dangers of pornography until they are in their teens, according to research conducted by the National Association of Headteachers.
Chris McGovern, chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, told IBTimes UK's sister publication Newsweek that parents should decide whether their children are educated about pornography.
McGovern said: "You've got to listen to the parents. On the whole, they know best. But I do not think the UK is anywhere near what is being proposed in Denmark because, quite simply, it would cause an outcry among parents. It would cause outrage and considerable anxiety."
Danish lawmakers have long had a liberal attitude towards pornography and in 1969, Denmark became the first country to legalise pornography.
In Denmark, sex education has been compulsory since the 1970s but parents can withdraw their children from classes if they wish.