Teach ‘sexual consent’ in elementary school, says Love Island star Zara McDermott


Zara McDermott – Image: (c) BBC

Zara McDermott, the star of Island of love, says it is important that “sexual consent” be taught in sex education classes. The competitor in season 4 of the recovery Island of love show thinks that young people need to be educated about the meaning of “consent”. And this education must be taught in primary school.

McDermott was sexually assaulted when he was 21 and campaigned as a government adviser for better sex education. His unique documentary, Discover the culture of rape, sees her remembering the event to better understand how such incidents can happen, how they can be avoided and how sex education can help achieve this goal.

We see her visiting British schools to hear students talk about their experiences and thoughts on the subject, including talking about sexual violence. It follows on from his previous documentary – which also aired in 2021 – exploring issues related to “revenge porn”.

Since Zara McDermott rose to fame in 2018 thanks to her appearance in Island of love she has worked as a model, influencer and presenter. She says she forgot about the sexual assault she suffered when she was 21 because, she says, things like this are so normalized for women and girls.

McDermott believes consent education should start at a very young age, arguing that it should be taught in elementary school. Speaking on the UK breakfast show Good Morning Britain, featured Ben Berger wondered if it was necessary to talk about sex at such a young age.

Zara replied, “But if they are allowed on the Internet, which a lot of students are in elementary school, then who knows what they may be exposed to. We need to start having these young conversations, unfortunately this is the world we live in now.

Speaking of teens having access to pornography, Zara continued, “This is a really, really huge problem and there is no age verification on these sites. In many schools, the behavior was not reported by peers. Potentially, schools haven’t really known how to deal with it; it has become so ingrained.

Zara McDermott: Uncovering Rape Culture is available on BBC iPlayer.