The Australian – April 15, 2016
The sexualisation of children is not a method of domestic violence prevention. At worst it is an insidious form of abuse, often used by pedophiles to groom their victims. Yet Daniel Andrews’s government has funded another program in schools that encourages adults to sexualise children and expose them to sexually explicit materials. Such behaviour violates common standards that protect children from premature sexualisation but the program is presented as an exercise in diversity and inclusion.
As education editor Natasha Bita revealed on yesterday’s front page, the Andrews government has dedicated $21.8 million to extending the Building Respectful Relationships program, funded on the basis of domestic violence prevention. Its objectives are to educate students about “gender, violence and respectful relationships” as part of “state and federal initiatives to prevent violence against women”. Like the Safe Schools Coalition program, which celebrates a neo-Marxist queer political agenda, Building Respectful Relationships promotes sexual content of an extreme nature.
Despite a stated aim to work against premature sexualisation, BRR encourages explicit discussion of sexuality, including writing personal advertisements and anal sex. Lessons also cover transgenderism and deconstructing gender. Students are coached to use the gender-neutral term partner instead of boyfriend and girlfriend to be “inclusive of gay and lesbian partnerships”.
The age of consent across Australian jurisdictions ranges from 16 to 17 and Unicef recommends that minors abstain from sexual activity. However, the BRR program acculturates children to sexualise themselves and their peers, presenting adolescent sexuality as the norm. Children are asked to answer: “Who do you think has responsibility for making decisions about sex and romance in your relationships?” In another, child sexual activity is assumed: “How do you work out and negotiate having sexual contact within your relationship or in your life?”
The Andrews government plans to extend the program to kindergartens and primary schools. While high-performing school systems in the Asia-Pacific focus on developing literacy, numeracy and memorisation, activists are dumbing down the Australian school curriculum. OECD reports rank Australian schoolchildren 19th in maths and 14th in literacy. More than one-third fail to meet proficiency standards in reading and numeracy. The children likeliest to suffer from curriculum introduced under the auspices of diversity and inclusion are those from disadvantaged backgrounds whose parents lack the means to opt out of state schools.
It is unacceptable that a program funded by government on the basis of domestic violence prevention should promote child sexualisation. But it is unconscionable that a government would knowingly promote lessons that give effect to a dissociative response that is common to victims of child sex abuse. In a lesson supposed to provide “different perspectives on sexual intimacy”, children are used in a role-playing exercise so psychologically harmful they may need to “de-role” afterwards. In one of the lessons, teachers are warned that as a result of program content, students may have “slipped into a state of distress or disassociation”. Teachers are instructed to “de-role” children by asking them to state their names and where they are.
Parents concerned about their children being sexualised and dissociating in class are unlikely to find support among those who produced the Safe Schools and BRR programs. As reported in March, activists who designed the Safe Schools program dismissed possible parental concerns, stating: “Parents don’t have the power to shut this down.” The Victorian government appears to concur. It vowed to continue funding it despite a commonwealth review that raised strong concerns.
As a society, we rightly denounced behaviours exposed by the royal commission into child sex abuse as abhorrent and intolerable. Our refusal to tolerate child sexualisation should be universal. The fashionable fronts of sexual diversity and social inclusion are no excuse for abuse.
Comments: Sexualisation of children not a remedy for bullying
The Australian – February 15, 2016
Even if the suicide statistics quoted by Brian Grieg are reliable (Letters, 12/2), it does not mean the reason for suicide is society’s fault. Some may attribute depression to bullying for being gay, when there are other factors.
Suicide could be due to range of causes, including rejection by a partner, untreated mental health problems or not liking oneself. A victim approach is never a healthy lens with which to view the world, nor oneself.
It is irresponsible to presume that the sexualisation of children via a bewildering program — which includes exploration of fringe bisexuality and intersexuality — is the remedy. It may do more damage than good.
Yes, it is “heteronormative” to ask if a baby is a boy or girl. It is the normal question asked of a normal experience. How did it happen that a few transgender people have got such a stranglehold on our media that they can bully our boys and girls into thinking that there is no such thing as a boy and a girl? What faddish madness is this?
Where is the right of the heteronormative female not to want someone with male genitalia being up close and intimate in the girl’s toilet where she expects to be entirely safe?
People cannot be bullied out of what they feel. If anybody knows this, surely it should be the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activists.
A co-author of the Safe Schools teaching manual, Marxist activist Roz Ward, is quoted (“Sexual politics in the classroom”, 13/2) saying last year: “Sexism, homophobia . . . serve to break the spirits of ordinary people, to consume our thoughts, to make us accept the status quo and for us to keep living . . . in small social units and families, where we must reproduce and take responsibility for those people in those units.”
Do we want Marxism to deliver solitary, childless lives, lived apart from families without the desire or responsibility to care for them? I prefer to be unliberated.
Despite exaggerated attempts from supporters of the Safe Schools Coalition to convince us otherwise, the underlying aims are clearly malign, disguised under the cloak of an anti-bullying campaign. This is evident from the absence of any reference to the main causes of bullying in schools.
The aim is to indoctrinate children about sexual issues and lifestyles, and to marginalise those who don’t go along with the attempt to present normal as abnormal, and vice-versa. It sets the steps by which children are to be subject to psychological bullying by isolation if they fail to fall in line with its perverse agenda.
This program should be defunded immediately, and no self-respecting school should have a bar of it. Challenge real bullying, by all means, but this is certainly not the way to do it.
I am flabbergasted that schools are introducing the Safe Schools program for our children with its propaganda about homosexuality and transgender issues. These are children who should not be exposed to material of a sexual nature in the first place.
A vocal minority is now defining how the majority of society should think and act. This defies all logic and common sense. Has the Education Department gone completely mad? This program should be removed as soon as possible before our children are damaged irrevocably.
I usually enjoy reading The Weekend Australian but your article on sexual politics in the classroom was disappointing. Considering the suicide rate for transgender people is 40 per cent, your article won’t help that situation. Safe Schools is about anti-bullying; the spin you put on it saddens me.
Funding for the Safe Schools program should be discontinued since its messages are neither safe nor healthy. The website provides projects and activities to set up gender and sexual diversity groups, participating in the Mardi Gras, and installing art promoting the program. No amount of tinkering would make this satisfactory. It is of concern that the program encourages social media. Children risk becoming locked into a stance about their sexuality by posting messages and images about themselves and their activities, which they may later regret.