One of the UK’s most-watched television networks is under fire after releasing a show centered around showing children the bodies of naked adults for the purposes of educating on “body positivity.”
Naked Education premiered its first season on Channel 4 last night. The show, hosted by popular personality Anna Richardson, featured a group of adults stripping naked in front of children aged 14 to 16.
“It’s all about body positivity, as Anna Richardson, Yinka Bokinni and Dr. Alex George go on a mission normalize all body types, champion our differences and break down stereotypes,” reads the description. The show is sponsored by Bosch, an internationally-recognized home appliance manufacturer.
Six 47-minute long episodes were released yesterday, and, despite featuring young teens, the episodes have a warning on the Channel 4 website informing viewers about gratuitous nudity. Channel 4 is operated by the state-owned Channel Four Television Corporation and is considered publicly owned and non-profit.
Amongst the content of the different episodes includes youth being exposed to information about anatomy, body hair, aging bodies, disabilities, and cosmetic surgery for both males and females. Adults are also seen discussing intimate information with each other, without the presence of the teens.
But what could be age-appropriate educational sessions about human sexuality quickly raises eyebrows the moment naked adults are brought in and paraded in front of the youth cohort in what are called “naked education lessons.”
In Episode 2, the teens are given an “eyeful” of naked adult men, and told to inspect their penises closely as they are provided education on circumcision and size.
“Out of the men in our lineup, who do you think has the average-sized penis,” the youth are asked as their first question after the men remove the white robes they had been using to cover-up.
Close-up shots of the men’s penises and buttocks are shown at various points during the episode, but the youth would have been exposed to the strange adults for an extended period of time. Throughout the “naked education session,” cut-away interviews with the teens are shown, with the two young girls — aged 16 and 14 — visibly flushed as they recount seeing the adult men’s intimate areas.
On social media, people expressed outrage over the program, with many calling the participants “pedophiles.”
“Disgusting. What sort of individual would actually want to participate in this exhibitionism to children,” one user asked, with a response reading simply: “Nonces.”
“Why did parents allow them to participate? They should be held to account for colluding in what is tantamount to child abuse,” another user wrote. “Not because the naked body is shameful, but for filming kids too young to consent to seening them and having their reactions shown as entertainment.”
The release of the Channel 4 program comes just days after social media was ablaze with controversy over a similar program from the Netherlands called Gewoon Bloot, or Simply Naked.
The show, which actually aired in 2021, recently renewed outrage after old clips began circulating on Twitter showing young children being exposed to naked transgender adults.
Gewoon Bloot was so controversial that a man from Utrecht was criminally charged after threatening the makers of the show, enraged over its lack of safeguarding. The man was handed a suspended prison sentence of two weeks, with a probationary period of two years. He was also ordered to complete 40 hours of community service.
In 2019, Denmark public television featured a similar concept, with children as young as 11 being exposed to naked adults for the sake of “sex education.” Ultra Smider Tøjet, or Ultra Strips Down, faced massive backlash when it was first released, with critics calling it “depraved.”
The award-winning, publicly-funded program was centered around teaching a child audience about human bodies, sexuality, and body positivity. A prime feature of the program was children meeting with adults who would display their naked bodies in front of them, stripping during the show.
In 2021, Danish broadcaster DR quietly scrubbed one of the archived episodes of the show after discovering one of the men who had been brought on the program to strip in front of the child audience had been convicted of sexually abusing a child and possessing over 3,000 child sexual exploitation materials.
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