Pakistan blocks access to teen sex-ed site

Published: March 20, 2012
Pakistan has blocked access to Scarleteen, a sex education website geared towards teenagers.

Pakistan has blocked access to Scarleteen, a sex education website geared towards teenagers.

In ongoing censorship of the internet, Pakistan has blocked access to Scarleteen, a sex education website geared towards teenagers.

In an alarming development, the website that has provided sex education and support worldwide since 1998 has apparently been banned as part of the PTA’s attempt to shut access to all pornographic content to Pakistani internet users.

Scarleteen, which was established by author, activist, feminist and internet publisher Heather Corinna, was set up to be an “inclusive, healthy, and sex-positive sex ed resource for teens” online.

According to a review by Common Sense Media, Scarleteen, “includes information that’s geared toward younger teens (articles about self-esteem and puberty) as well as more “adult” topics that aren’t normally addressed in sex-ed classes (like sexual pleasure). The site identifies as feminist and pro-choice and explains its philosophy as “a nonjudgmental and unbiased attitude of acceptance, tolerance, and understanding for young people, whether they choose to be sexually active or not.”

The government has recently cracked down on content that is deemed offensive, blocking up to over 13,000 pornographic websites and was also considering certain words in SMSs.

The judiciary and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) had taken action against porn websites by blocking or banning access to them in the country, following multiple petitions filed by the citizenry.

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Reader Comments (37)

  • Umer
    Mar 20, 2012 - 12:17AM

    If its about education we don’t like it neither need it.


  • Zeta
    Mar 20, 2012 - 12:30AM

    ET is making an issue out of nothing. seriously who really cares about scarlteen or whatever


  • Mar 20, 2012 - 12:40AM

    Cool, another step taken by Dr Firdous reduce population growth…


  • Suleman
    Mar 20, 2012 - 12:58AM

    Well why don’t PTA just cut off our genitals…


  • Dopeharee
    Mar 20, 2012 - 12:59AM

    we are an uneducated farming country, hillbillies like us need no education on inbreeding.


  • Hungry
    Mar 20, 2012 - 1:06AM

    WTH! I never went through that site! Missed it :(


  • Mar 20, 2012 - 1:07AM

    Did you say education?! (hiss!)

    We’re Pakistanis. We’re going to learn sex ed the good, old-fasioned way: start to get fat and listen to the doctor tell you it has something to do with the thing you did earlier in the bedroom without using a you-know-what. That’s good enough for us.


  • Muneeb
    Mar 20, 2012 - 1:08AM

    Why don’t PTA block TV channels? Imagine television with just PTV :-) ………. We need to educate our generation not to shutdown the bad things. Do you think that blocked sites cannot be accessed… haha..PTA dn make fun of yourself plz.


  • Mj
    Mar 20, 2012 - 1:08AM

    I seems that there has been a mullah takeover of the PTA.


  • Mar 20, 2012 - 1:15AM

    ET please list all banned sites by PTA so that i can get a list to use via proxy :)


  • Zain
    Mar 20, 2012 - 1:23AM

    Absolutely shameful move by the PTA. It’s as if the Taliban are running this organization. Hopefully whoever is the head will be fired soon and someone with some sense and an understanding of the power of the internet will take over.


  • Mar 20, 2012 - 1:33AM

    Of course we don’t need sex ed. It’s not like we have a rising population, poor reproductive health, a sexually ill-informed populace–and STDs? Forget about it, nobody in Pakistan has EVER had an STD. Not in the land of the pure!
    As if learning about safe sex ever accomplishes anything anyway…


  • Mar 20, 2012 - 2:00AM

    i wish the government would also consider shutting websites which promote sectarian violence, political violence and religious extremism in Pakistan, and also those websites which belong to political groups and other religious outfits which have been banned by the country

    as far as porn websites or any such silly issues are concerned, i think it is not for the state to dictate or interfere in the private affairs of its citizens unless they happen to be harming the country or its social atmosphere

    currently extremism and corruption are the biggest threats to the social fabric of our country, i wish our president would crack down on these issues first!


  • GS@Y
    Mar 20, 2012 - 2:01AM

    I am a Pakistani abroad, and, after reading this article, just learned SO much from Scarleteen. Thank you ET.


  • Mar 20, 2012 - 2:10AM

    Wow, we didn’t even know before if any such website was opened. ET’s Web Desk seems to be very much “sex enlightened”. :D


  • Shamy
    Mar 20, 2012 - 2:23AM

    How many teens in Pakistan knew about this website in the first place ??


  • UseIt
    Mar 20, 2012 - 2:30AM

    Teen sex-ed? In my boyhood we used to call it blue prints.


  • Head Shot
    Mar 20, 2012 - 2:55AM

    Cutting the tongue will be more symbolic for ‘Freedom Lovers’


  • T
    Mar 20, 2012 - 2:59AM

    can not access =( .. used to download engineering books from there.
    another site related to photographers can’t be accessed. assuming the mistakenly read it as =/


  • Mar 20, 2012 - 3:02AM

    ET making issue of nothing makes me to hate u more, on what agenda u people are working? what do u want?


  • Optimist
    Mar 20, 2012 - 3:25AM

    I really don’t agree that we can learn from western sex education websites! They have been saying everything is fine from pleasuring oneself to oral stuff.
    Western films/websites have been promoting certain actions saying it is ‘safe’. Our next generation is copying their life style and their medical advice.
    Recently I read in a UK newspaper that biggest cause of MOUTH CANCER IN THE UK TEEN is due to ‘Oral’ things they do in sex (more than 6000 Mourth Cancer every year). While our society has always regarded ‘oral’ as dirty and unhygienic.
    After giving them this type of education and making them use to such stuff through the Internet, videos etc, isn’t it too late to tell them that they have cancer because of this?


  • Rim Job
    Mar 20, 2012 - 4:10AM

    What exactly is a “rim job?”



  • MFA
    Mar 20, 2012 - 6:55AM

    Is this the only thing reamained to b addressed? Wow … Wht a lovely place to live whr thris no problem of corruption, no issues pertain to secterian violance, no problem pertain to religious extremisim, no problem about corrupt judiciary, no problem about corrupt politicians, nobproblem abou the corrupt electoral system …. Rest is all settled by the judiciary n the only thing remained to b taken care of is ‘porn websites’ … Xtremely stupid!!
    A place whr ppl dont even know how to drive on roads, whr ppl have no road ethics (specially bikers) h u want thm to act ethically on the web?? Common PTA n judiciary, end this crap n address something valuable n productive for this country! We need a pshycatrist at the govt level who will develop the ethical values of the ppl of this country!!


  • Red
    Mar 20, 2012 - 6:59AM

    I knew about it and I care. It was a very informative and helpful site. I’ve communicated with Heather Corinna. The work she does is absolutely brilliant.


  • Mr. Righty rightist
    Mar 20, 2012 - 7:13AM

    Isn’t Quran the answer for everything?

    Why does one need sex education websites?


  • Zeta
    Mar 20, 2012 - 8:15AM

    @Pakistan politics:
    ET is getting trashier and trashier by the day. Clearly has an agenda against Islam and Pakistan. Recommend

  • Mar 20, 2012 - 8:48AM

    Some of those Bollywood item numbers are more obscene than the kind of stuff you find online… Idiots…


  • Mar 20, 2012 - 9:16AM

    The site is not blocked. Another fake story by ET. Just like that story about the rolling stones site which was blocked by their webmaster not the Pak govt.


  • Billoo Bhaya
    Mar 20, 2012 - 9:31AM

    I agree. A subversive one at that.


  • Ali
    Mar 20, 2012 - 10:02AM

    O my God! Such an important site blocked. How on earth we gonna survive? :S


  • Hameed
    Mar 20, 2012 - 10:43AM

    Site is working for me.


  • Raza
    Mar 20, 2012 - 11:01AM

    PTA is so farigh. Not to mention directionless. How about cracking down on those terrible bollywood item #s now?


  • Mar 20, 2012 - 4:13PM

    Surely, they’ll be coming after nude art next. And then online anatomy references for medical students. And then simple images of shirtless men, as that too is porn in some sections of the society.


  • Cracker
    Mar 20, 2012 - 4:38PM

    Thanks PTA,
    Thank you for informing me about this website. Now I will install an IP changer and will log in :D, Thanks again :)


  • Glaedr
    Mar 20, 2012 - 11:44PM

    It has been unblocked. Probably thanks to this article. Good job ET!


  • ALi
    Mar 21, 2012 - 1:43AM

    Good job PTA. As if generations before us were given proper sex education to make babies. One can expect anything from liberal extremists.


  • hasan
    Apr 2, 2012 - 7:10PM

    GOOD JOB PTA…but you also have to BLOCK ANONYMOUS PROXY SURFING SITES….which are still used to open these porn sites…


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