Push for porn literacy classes for kids in Aussie schools

Proposal for controversial classes in Australian high schools sparks fresh debate over parental control.

Push for porn literacy classes for kids in Aussie schools
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A leading advocate for consent education has urged Australian high schools to introduce porn literacy classes due to rising concerns over young teens' access to explicit material.

However, the proposal has sparked controversy among parents worried about what their children will be exposed to and whether this education undermines their rights to control such conversations with their kids.

Internationally, the concept of 'porn literacy' classes have been hotly debated on social media with many concerned about the role of schools in discussing sensitive matters with their children.

Teach Us Consent founder Chanel Contos has voiced her concerns over the increasing rates of young teenagers accessing pornography, labelling it a "public health issue."

Contos stressed the need for school leaders to address the dangers of pornography directly with students, considering the average age of first access to porn in Australia is now as young as 11 years old.

She noted that accidental exposure often occurs through online activities such as gaming and chatting.

“It’s been something that has been quite taboo in the public space, but the rates of young people accessing it (porn) from a young age is becoming a public health issue,” Contos said. “The average age of first access to porn in Australia is now 11 years old and most of the time it’s accessed accidentally because porn sites advertise in chat rooms and while playing games online.”

Contos outlined the concept of porn literacy, highlighting the importance of educating students about the 'realities of pornography' and providing them with resources to seek help if needed. She underscored the need to differentiate between fantasy and reality, especially regarding consent.

In response to Contos' advocacy, Victorian Education Minister Ben Carroll expressed support for integrating pornographic literacy into the curriculum, acknowledging the need to address the impacts of online pornography on young people's perceptions of healthy relationships. 

Meanwhile, federal budget papers reveal a decline in future funding for consent education, raising concerns about ongoing support for initiatives aimed at promoting respectful relationships among students.

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  • By Avi Yemini

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