The Reward FoundationOur philosophy on sexual health is based on the World Health Organisation’s definition of sexual health:

“…a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence. For sexual health to be attained and maintained, the sexual rights of all persons must be respected, protected and fulfilled.” (WHO, 2006a)

Problematic sexual behaviour often stems from 2 things: a brain that has been damaged by over-arousal and stress, and from ignorance about what a healthy level of stimulation is. The process towards compulsive use or addiction affects brain structure, functionality and decision making. This is especially true for children and adolescents at the start of their journey towards sexual maturity. It is the stage when their brain is most vulnerable to the possibility of developing mental health problems and addictions.

Our Philosophy on Pornography

Porn use is a matter of personal choice for adults. We are not out to ban it but we do believe it is a high risk activity even for those over 18 years, and certainly for those under 18. We want to help people make an ‘informed’ choice about it based on the evidence from the research currently available. We believe it is better for health and wellbeing to spend time developing the social skills necessary to make intimate relationships work better in the longer term.


Online Safety for Children

The Reward Foundation campaigns to reduce children’s easy access to internet pornography because dozens of research papers indicate that it is damaging to children at their vulnerable stage of brain development. Children and adults on the autistic spectrum and with special learning needs are especially vulnerable to harm. There has been a dramatic rise in child-on-child sexual abuse in the past 10 years, in porn-related sexual injuries according to healthcare professionals who have attended our workshops and possibly even deaths. We are in favour of the UK Government’s initiatives around age verification for users as it is a first and foremost a child protection measure. As the Digital Economy Act Part III has been set aside, we hope the government will accelerate work on the Online Safety Bill. This is not a silver bullet, but is a good starting place. It will not replace the need for education about risks.


Hope is at hand. The concept of ‘neuroplasticity’, the brain’s ability to adapt to the environment, means that the brain can heal itself when we remove the aggravating stressors, and replace them with activities that promote growth, healthy balance and wellbeing.

WE DO NOT OFFER THERAPY but we do signpost service providers who do.