The Courier-Mail

Kids taught consent

- IAN ROYALL

SEXUAL consent will be taught to children as young as 14 while primary school kids will learn about violence against women under a new program.

TEACHERS and parents are avoiding difficult discussion­s about racism with primary school children, leading to ingrained attitudes into adulthood.

A Monash University study found that adults don’t like talking about racism but children were usually open to the discussion.

Instead, the code of silence means that any racial bias that develops in early childhood tends to grow during adolescenc­e and then becomes deep-seated in later life.

Lead author and psychologi­st Hannah Yared said: “A lot of it appears to be that parents and teachers feel that children don’t see race and that they don’t need to have those conversati­ons, but when given the space to have those conversati­ons children are able to have in-depth conversati­ons about the issue.

“Even the very young have picked up a lot of things along the way. It starts when children are born and they are getting messages from adults from an early age.

“Refusing to talk about race does nothing to combat the issue – negative views go unchecked and continue into adulthood.”

The research identified four key themes in Australian primary school attitudes towards racism: a lack of teacher confidence on racial issues; white normalcy; avoiding colour issues; and silencing discussion.

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