Kids have always been exposed to sexual imagery, although now it seems more commonplace and explicit than before. Our fears lie in the fact that we know that the constant repetition of certain images or scenes creates a benchmark for normal behaviour - and kids do copy what they see…
However, children are also drawn to things of a sexual nature. They track them down on parents' book shelves, in bottom draws and in secret stashes of magazines. Perhaps you remember your own childhood curiosity, particularly once puberty kicked in? Children are sexual beings too, even if we don't like it and they don't understand it...
However, it's confusing and potentially frightening if their curiosity is too easily answered by readily available footage of hard-core gang bangs.
Our children live in a sexualised world - that horse has bolted and we can't force the contents of Pandora's box back inside. This means that yes, we should try and limit their access to scenes of an inappropriately sexual nature (who decides what is inappropriate is a separate debate) but we must also give them a context for everything that will inevitably slip - or be pushed - through the net.
They need to be able find a comfortable level of understanding for what they see, separate fact from fiction and get the information they need to make the right choices about their own bodies.
Because there's no clear, consistent and thorough approach to sex education, there's a randomness about the scraps of knowledge our young people are accumulating.
In one of my research groups earlier this year, a number of the Year 9 group had picked up on a 'fact': women are extra horny (sic) three days of the month. That was it. There was no context for this and no sense of when those three days might be. It was a mysterious and somewhat perplexing half truth.
This is the kind of thing that doesn't necessarily get covered in sex ed - one of a thousand little questions that may not even get vocalised - and really, it's not such a difficult question to answer, is it?
Of course, other issues are more complicated. Addressing the fact that most of those 13 and 14 year olds had watched porn on their mobile phones is one example - but you know what? We can't pretend it's not happening.
If we don't step in and give them guidance, support and information, they will be getting their knowledge from pornography, music videos, tabloid newspapers and magazines that seem to have put gender equality on the back burner - and aren't at all reticent when it comes to shouting about their own particular brand of full frontal, objectifying and often misogynistic sex. These voices desperately need a counterbalance.
Our young people should be able to join a dialogue that raises the profile of respect, self-awareness and positive body image. They should be hearing a voice that talks about freedom from stereotypes, freedom of expression and freedom to be physical when you're ready for it, in a way that feels comfortable, safe and exciting. Yes - exciting. Because if you're going to be having sex, shouldn't it be the best sex possible?
We should be encouraging their questions, giving them a forum to learn with honest answers that aren't full of prime time or late night sensationalism and misplaced embarrassment.
How do you really know when you're ready for sex?
What should sex feel like?
How do you become a great lover?
Is my body 'normal'?
Sex hurts. What should I do?
We need to answer those questions - and many more besides.
Parents need advice on how to raise the subject and discuss it with their children. It's not an easy thing to do because when we get into the real nitty gritty of sex, it is all about emotions, beliefs, and very subjective, personal experiences.
Teachers need the support and training that will give them the confidence to provide sex education that ticks all the boxes - something they didn't necessarily sign up for.
And finally, we all need to remember that sex can be the most powerful, unifying, beautiful, passionate, loving experience on the planet - and who's telling our kids that?