Former Love Island contestant Eyal Booker told ITV’s Good Morning Britain yesterday that the programme is “educational” – despite claims to the contrary by a teacher.
Appearing on the morning show to discuss Love Island, he said the show can teach younger views about relationships, particularly teenage boys.
“We still live in a society where there are certain stereotypes on men and women and how they should behave and whether they should be in touch with their emotions or not. For guys definitely, [Love Island] allows you to realise and aspire to be open with your emotions,” he said.
However, English teacher and author Natasha Kaufman, who appeared on Good Morning Britain alongside Booker, said she spoke to pupils, aged 11 and 12, who watch the programme and denied claims it has significant educational value.
“I think on the one hand you are shown the emotional aspect of relationships but you’re not shown the complexities that exist outside in the real world,” she said. “There’s no reference to cultural, religious, financial difficulties that exist and form relationships.”
“Equally you’re only shown one type of relationship,” she added. “They don’t explore homosexual, bisexual relationships. They don’t explore things to do with gender identity which many young people are battling with.”
Kaufman, who is the author of “Mindfulness for Students: Embracing Now, Looking to the Future”, said the programme’s lack of body diversity can even harm young viewers’ self esteem.
“I think what’s happening is that these children that are watching and seeing these one body types compare themselves in quite a negative way,” she said.