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In a wide-ranging and thoughtful speech later today, Michael Gove will cover schooling, the family, inequality and the "hedonism" of lads’ magazines like Zoo and Nuts:

"I believe we need to ask tough questions about the instant-hit hedonism celebrated by the modern men’s magazines targeted at younger males. Titles such as Nuts and Zoo paint a picture of women as permanently, lasciviously, uncomplicatedly available. We should ask those who make profits out of revelling in, or encouraging, selfish irresponsibility among young men what they think they’re doing."

Mr Gove’s remarks fit with the concerns already expressed by David Cameron with regard to gangsta rap and the need for private business to act in more socially responsible ways:

"The relationship between these titles and their readers is a relationship in which the rest of us have an interest. The images they use and project reinforce a very narrow conception of beauty and a shallow approach towards women. They celebrate thrill-seeking and instant gratification without ever allowing any thought of responsibility towards others, or commitment, to intrude. The contrast with the work done by women’s magazines, and their publishers, to address their readers in a mature and responsible fashion, is striking."

A leader in The Telegraph welcomes Mr Gove’s speech and the attempt to shift the focus away from single women and towards the men who often abandon them:

"Mr Gove is elaborating and extending that most elemental of Tory creeds: the belief that we should take responsibility for our actions. The tenant who won’t tidy his garden because he thinks it’s up to the council; the young offender who blames the absence of recreational facilities; the adult who won’t tick off a misbehaving child because it’s someone else’s job; the man who beats his girlfriend and says "the pills made me do it" – all are consequences of severing the link between action and consequence."

Mr Gove will also talk about Tory plans for health visitors and maternity nurses.  He released statistics yesterday that showed that half of poor children leave school without a single ‘good’ GCSE.

11am: Download PDF of full Michael Gove speech.

182 comments for: Michael Gove attacks “hedonism” of lads’ magazines

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