'You have to be frank': How to talk to children about consent

Dr Melissa Kang and Yumi Stynes have co-authored a book titled 'Welcome to Consent' - a guide on how to dicuss sex and relationships with children.

'You have to be frank': How to talk to children about consent

Sex, intimacy, relationships, and consent. Are they topics to be discussed with or around children?

There is growing evidence to suggest the earlier kids are involved in these conversations, the safer their approach to intimacy and relationships.

Two advocates for this are adolescent health experts Dr Melissa Kang and Yumi Stynes, who have written about it in their latest book, Welcome to Consent.


They say consent isn't just about sex and relationship but can apply to many aspects of life.

"Learning what respect means, learning what bodily autonomy or being the boss of your body means from a young age," Dr Kang told Nine.com.au.

"Knowing how to communicate what you're feeling and thinking and how confusing it can become because if we leave it until they're ready to start dating and having relationships it's probably a bit late they get caught in the moment a lot."

The conversation is changing

This year there has been a growing public conversation about consent, sexual assault, and the wider experience of women in society.

While some have pointed out the fortunate "timing" of the book, Dr Kang and Yumi say this conversation has "always been urgent".

The pair started writing it more than two years ago, a sequel to their first co-authored book "Welcome to Your Period".


Ms Stynes said there was no way they could have predicted where the national conversation around consent would have been, but was glad to see it "snowballing".

"It's just that it's a topic people understand enough to speak about publicly now," she told Nine.com.au.

"But the things that have prompted it and thrust it into the spotlight – those things have been happening for literally hundreds of years."

An excerpt from Dr Melissa Kang and Yumi Styne's book. Welcome to Consent

How to talk to your kids about consent

If you read Dolly magazine as a teenager you may be familiar with Dr Kang. For many years she was "Dolly Doctor", dishing out advice to wide-eyed adolescents desperate to learn more about their bodies.

But it can be tough to broach these subjects - or to know how to respond when children start asking questions.

"Even before the age of the internet I have always been a really firm believer that children, even young children and certainly adolescents and emerging adults, have the right to know about their bodies," Dr Kang said.

"And surely sex is one of the most important things you would want your children to grow up feeling confident about.


"Particularly girls but also boys, and having some sense of agency around decisions they make and to do that well, you have to be frank.

"You have to name the body parts for what they are, you have to be clear about what you're talking about."

Ms Stynes agreed, saying what so many young girls and women loved about Dolly Doctor was that she was frank and honest, and adults should try and replicate that.

"...When we're communicating with young people that they know that they can trust our truth. That we're not going to lie. That we're not going to dance around in discomfort.


"And sometimes it is a little bit uncomfortable to have these conversations if you haven't practised them – but the kids can smell a rat.

"There are resources available so you don't have to bullshit, and you don't have to pretend to be the person who knows everything," she added.

The book discusses 'enthusiastic consent' and how to say no. Welcome to Consent

Is there a gap in education?

Some educators and experts believe the nuances around sex, relationships and consent should be taught earlier at school, but parents also play a role here.

"...there's a lot of evidence to say that young people repeatedly, consistently say, that sex ed is great they do need to know about biology, the do want to know where to go for help if they want to be tested for STIs but what's really lacking is honest conversations about pleasure, relationships, negotiation, all those sorts of things are missing from their sex ed," Dr Kang said.

"Some fortunate students do get that comprehensiveness of education but the majority don't."


Ms Stynes said it is essential that any conversations around sex, intimate activities are "not things to be snatched from someone else".

"You want somebody to be willing participant so trying to get away with something, or sneak something in, or nick something, it's really not cool that's actually what it's about at all, it's actually gross.

"And if you think that's what sex and intimacy is then you've got it all mucked up, you need to really really start again and build from the ground up, and think about it more as something – well let's find something that we both want to do together, and make it as fun for each other as we can and that can only ever be consensual."

Welcome to Consent is available to pre-order now, and will be available at Booktopia and where all good books are sold from Wednesday 19 May. RRP $19.99

Source : 9 News More   

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Treasurer defends decision to keep some sick Aussies in India

The Federal Government said it is working to bring more Australians home from India after the first repatriation flight out of the country touched down in Darwin.

Treasurer defends decision to keep some sick Aussies in India

The Federal Government said it is continuing to work to bring more Australians home from India after the first repatriation flight out of the country touched down in Darwin.

Flight QF112 landed in the Northern Territory today at 9.20am (9.50am AEST) where passengers will spend two weeks at quarantine facility in Howard Springs.

However, nearly half of the 150 passengers were not allowed on the plane due to testing positive to COVID-19 prior to departure, or being a close contact of an infected person.


Of the planned passenger group, 72 were banned from the flight home to Australia. There were 48 people who tested positive for the virus and another 24 family members deemed close contacts.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said defended the decision and said there is still capacity for additional Australians to return home throughout the rest of this month.

"We're following the medical advice and ensuring that we protect Australians here and I'm pleased that first flight has arrived and, obviously, there'll be more flights to come," Mr Frydenberg said.

"We invoked the Biosecurity Act because of the need to protect Australians and to ensure that we were doing everything possible to prevent the spread of COVID."

He said the health standards were set high to protect Australians.

Australia India COVID

"A tragedy for them"

High Commissioner to India Barry O'Farrell said it was tragic for those who were set to be on Australian soil this weekend.

"This is a tragedy for them today, and equally for their families in Australia," Mr O'Farrell said.

"We're in the middle of a COVID crisis here in India and it takes 24 hours at least to get the results of a COVID test, so the likelihood of people quickly taking places on the plane is harder than it seems."

Akriti Gupta from Melbourne hoped to have her results cleared so she can board the plane.

"We are booked for the flight tonight and we are waiting for our COVID results," Ms Gupta told 9News.

"It's very heartbreaking because people here have already quarantined for three days in Delhi and have already said goodbye to their families."

It is not yet known if Ms Gupta was on board the flight.

A positive diagnosis means Aussies will be stuck in India until they recover.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade were working to fill the flight with more passengers but the 48-hour pre-flight testing proved an obstacle.


Qantas flights heading to India to bring back Australian citizens have also been carrying vital supplies to the subcontinent, including ventilators and oxygen concentrators.


Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne said today's flight will bring the total number of repatriation flights from India to 39.

"These government-facilitated flights will be focused on returning Australian citizens, residents and families who have registered with our high Commission and consular offices within India and will prioritise the most vulnerable people," Ms Payne said.

The next government repatriation flight from India is expected to arrive in Darwin on May 23.

Arrangements for further facilitated flights into Australia are underway.

Source : 9 News More   

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