Vanya Harris, a teacher at Park Academy in Hillingdon, north London said, TV shows like
Love Island and EastEnders are impacting teenagers by guiding them on how to behave in relationships.
She expressed how relationship are now based on looks instead of emotions.
Blaming Love island for encouraging unhealthy intimate relationships by normalising sexual contact as akin to handshake, and EastEnders for promoting the idea of ‘volatile’ relationship by the way people are shown arguing.
Her comments came as a new sex education curriculum is rolled out across schools in England.
A latest area of focus is about the differences of on-screen relationships versus real-life relationships.
Harris also said sexual contact has become currency.
She argued that teenagers should be made to realise to have a plantonic relationship instead of one leading to sex.
Such shows promote the idea of building up relationships within few hours instead of weeks time, which is usually required in the real life.
“And it’s not about getting to know someone properly, finding out about their personality, intelligence or if they know any good jokes.
“There’s no mystery, it’s based heavily on the physical aspects. Shows like this spread ultra-sexualised images to children and body shapes that are not always natural.”
Harris believes in the importance of teenagers using their personalities to their advantage rather than their focus on looks.
She understands that these shows are edited for “entertainment” purposes but argues they breed an “‘I’m going to create a big scene and a drama’ mentality”.
It can mentally impact kids of 12-13 age, who may be caught in making relationships based on shows. She believed that the children should be guided before they seem to develop understanding based on these programmes. The guidance should focus on telling them the difference between on-screen and real life relationships and that the personality should supersede looks.