IGF 2023 Town Hall #164 Sex Ed in the digital age

Round Table - 60 Min


Gen Z, the digital natives are now taking the main role in society. The digital natives have been connected to the internet since their birth and have not been taught how to protect their privacy online information. Their lives and their internet activities are intertwined and aligned, so for the digital natives, what they have been doing on the internet is their character and reputation itself. These characteristics make them vulnerable. Sex crimes using messenger applications that happened in South Korea in 2020 are typical examples of exploiting the characteristics of digital natives. More than half of the victims were women in their teens and 20s. Perpetrators were able to sexually exploit their victims easily by identifying them through the traces and information and by threatening to expose and distribute the private materials or images they left behind online. Digital transformation has accelerated since COVID-19. More and more people are establishing relationships through online dating platforms. Online dating platforms make it easy to hide your identity, which increases the risk of sexual assault. A study published by the US nonprofit ProPublica and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism found that a third of female online dating platform users have been sexually assaulted by someone they met on a dating app, and more than half of women who have been sexually assaulted have been raped. After the pandemic, the more people have hesitated to have a strong relationship, the more consumption of pornographic films has been increasing. Illegally filmed materials are often included among consumed films not knowing what it is. So, we need to talk about sexuality and educate people with sexual health programs to foster healthy internet space. Online CSE programs, sexual media literacy, and sex ed digital literacy are related programs. In this session, we will invite instructors who have been teaching CSE also media literacy from different nationalities to share their experiences. They will discuss the features, strengths, and weaknesses of online sex education programs through concrete examples and share their own class designs. CSE and media literacy are a field that is in dire need of societal, and national support. We will also discuss what kind of supportive policies they would like to have.

1) I am thinking of asking the speakers to share part of their programs for their students with the attendees(online and offline). 2) I don't think we can do a lot of innovative experiments with the time limitation. But I will consider how I can make a meaningful experience for all the participants. 3) Zoom is my most familiar tool.


Open Net Korea
Mathew Johnson, Director, Education for MediaSmarts


Mathew Johnson, Director, Education for MediaSmarts Ann Hodder-Ship, Founder, Everyone Deserves Sex Education Connie Samsona, Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Educator, Roots of Health Kyoungmi Oh, Researcher, Open Net Korea

Onsite Moderator

JIWON SON(Legal Counsel, Open Net Korea)

Online Moderator

Misun Chu(Administrative Manager, Open Net Korea)


Kyungsin Park(Executive Director, Open Net Korea)


5. Gender Equality

Targets: We would like to bring comprehensive sexual education to the internet space. Comprehensive sex education is recommended to approach women's sexual relations and reproduction issues, including female adolescents, from the perspective of health and rights, and to provide all relevant information. The approach from this perspective no longer taboos menstruation delivers detailed information about menstruation, distinguishes between enjoyable and healthy sexual relationships and sexual violence, and educates the decision-making capacity to reject or decide sexual relationships. It also includes information and access methods for the prevention and treatment of infections that may occur after sexual intercourse, scientific information on pregnancy and childbirth, and access to related institutions. In other words, comprehensive sex education presupposes that women and female adolescents are preparing for intimate relationships that include sexual intercourse or sexual activities, or that they are already actively acting. Women's sexual identity was finally revealed as a part of society. An approach that recognizes women's active sexual engagement from a health and rights perspective, while at the same time promoting capacity to engage, is critical. Through comprehensive sex education, women can escape from the perception that sexual behavior is considered sinful and shameful, and can explore sexual desire or affirm themselves who are curious. In addition, in the process of developing the ability to express sexual feelings that fit one's values and to decide or reject sexual relations, the ability to distinguish between sexual acts and sexual violence can be developed. These competencies enable a woman to protect herself from danger in a preventative way or to seek help in case of exposure to violence rather than choose her silence or become discouraged. The identity as a sexual subject fully enjoying sexual rights and the identity as a victim of sexual violence are not framed in confrontation, and it is possible to achieve compatibility between the two identities.