TEEN Vogue’s attempts to teach their young readers how to have safe sex have not, it’s fair to say, been warmly welcomed.

Videos currently circulating online show copies of the American publication being burned at backyard bonfires as irate parents pontificate on immorality.

In a bold move earlier this month, the magazine’s editor chose to publish a detailed and graphic guide to certain sex acts, a decision met with widespread outrage.

The article described the activity in a studied and scientific way as it highlighted the need for “enthusiastic consent” and protection from sexually transmitted infections.

The reaction was somewhat predictable – nobody really wants to think of their teen sons and daughters indulging in sexual activities of any kind.

What with (online) vigilante mobs running riot, the growth of religious extremism and incessant debates about women and their rightful place in society, it can often feel as though we’re living in the past.

Thankfully, we’re not, and sexual politics and practices – at least in the majority of the Western world – have shifted considerably in recent years, in favour of a more relaxed and tolerant attitude to consensual sex.

There is still plenty to be outraged about, especially when considering the growing pornification and sexualisation of society, rape culture, child sexual exploitation, trafficking and other such damaging issues.

But I cannot bring myself to be outraged about a teen magazine attempting to keep its young readers safe.

The team at Teen Vogue know their demographic and undoubtedly recognise the culture that their readers are part of, the risks it presents and the societal expectations these youngsters must confront on a daily basis.

Burning magazines in a battle to suppress information is a more symbolic gesture than it could ever be effective these days, given the internet’s omnipresence.

Teen Vogue can do precious little to stem the growth of sexual trends, given that it exists at a time when studies show children as young as five are sexting and many youngsters experience their first sexual awakenings via freely accessible online pornography.

The magazine holds a position of responsibility and influence but it cannot cancel out societal shifts, nor should it ignore them, no matter how many petitions or upset parents beg them to.

What it can do, and has done, is provide a neutral and responsible platform that engages with young people whilst providing an education that will ultimately keep them safe.

Teenagers are going to experiment and they are going to have sex with each other – it is only right that they enabled to do that safely and responsibly.

When many governments and politicians balk at the idea of introducing universal sex education in schools, the likes of Teen Vogue are taking it upon themselves to inform and educate.

We should be thanking them for it, not vilifying their efforts in a futile bid to turn back the clock.