Calls Grow For Toxic Masculinity And Slut Shaming To Be Taught At Aussie Schools
The Victorian government announced last month it planned to educate all public-based students about sexual consent.
The move showed the state was listening to the cries from campaigners that efforts needed to be escalated to stamp out problematic behaviour.
But an anti-sexual assault campaigner wants the Andrews government to include two important topics in the curriculum: toxic masculinity and slut shaming.
Chanel Contos believes these two issues need to be explained to students at schools across the state to expand their knowledge.
She told the Herald: "We need to talk about the difference between toxic masculinity and normal masculinity. We need to talk about slut shaming and the fact that girls' sexual pleasure is so taboo."
The former private school student started an online petition calling for consent to be taught at an earlier age.
It's received nearly 40,000 signatures and sparked thousands of testimonies from current and former students, both male and female, about the abuse they have suffered in the past.
It lifted the lid on how many victims didn't realise they had been assaulted because they weren't educated on what the signs and symptoms of that were.
Chanel has been working with the Victorian government about how best to implement the 'Respectful Relationships' course, which will only be available in public schools at the moment. She's hoping it will be expanded to other schools in the future.
"I've been working with them on creating the content ... I feel like people don't know that oral sex is sexual assault and that your boyfriend, friend or someone you know personally can rape you - this needs to be taught," she said.
"I think some of the schools will adopt it because they want to fix the issue. But it could be problematic in religious schools," she said.
"If we're teaching about sex from a biological sense then we have to teach consent hand-in-hand."
Educators are keen to see how the new consent curriculum will play out with students in the coming months.
The Respectful Relationships course has the backing of the Australian Education Union Victorian, who believe it's an enormous step forward in protecting young people from harm.
State branch president Meredith said in a statement: "It is incumbent on the government to provide schools with the required resources and support to ensure these changes are implemented effectively. These issues are concerns for our whole community to address."
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