Book Welcome To Sex Used As Defence In Senate Consent Hearing

The first day of the Senate consent hearing has heard a defence of the sex education book Welcome to Sex by Dr Melissa Kang and Yumi Stynes.

The book was removed from Big W shelves last week to protect staff who were receiving abuse from a minority group who argued the book groomed its 12-15-year-old readership.

Author and advocate Jess Hill appeared via video link and said the controversy the book has been subjected to has ignored the fact parents will be a part of the education process with their children.

She also said resources like Google were not an appropriate form of sex and consent education.

You know if you’ve got a book that by and large is going to be purchased by parents, let’s face it, if unless those kids are much older, that is probably going to be read with the parents. I don’t see how that is going to be damaging,” Ms Hill said.

“The idea of it being grooming is just precisely the opposite. Because grooming occurs, particularly when young children are naive, naive, and vulnerable to influence.

“When children are educated, they are less likely to be naive and vulnerable to influence.”

Ms Hill added the backlash has been a “good reminder” on the long way Australia must come in regard to sex education and consent.

“This kind of puritanical response is still broadly held in the Australian public so not to get too confident that we’ve come a long way that certain sections of society have, and certain sections are quite happy to whip up a puritanical, fervour over sex education for young people,” she said.

Big W has continued to sell the book online.

If you, or anyone you know needs help, there are many resources available:

1800RESPECT: 1800 737 732
Lifeline: 13 11 14
Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636

Subscribe to The Briefing, Australia’s fastest-growing news podcast on Listnr today. The Briefing serves up the latest news headlines and a deep dive into a topic affecting you. All in under 20 minutes.