As Australia’s Chanel Contos wins push for consent education after almost a year of crusading, it becomes pertinent to restart the discussion in American context as well. Contos has virtually achieved her objective of age-appropriate consent instruction in every Australian schoo. Several Australian states have implemented consent education programmes in public schools as a result of her efforts, and a national programme is set to be enforced this year.
Speaking of US, in their sex education guidelines, twenty-one states and Washington, D.C. currently include references to consent or healthy partnerships. In the last year, eight states amended their sex education requirements, including six states that approved legislation requiring consent and healthy relationships to be included in the curriculum. Center for American Progress was cited for the above information in a 2019 news report regarding sex education curriculum in America.
Some shocking data regarding sexual violence in US:
As per some stats compiled by RAINN.org in the year 2021, every 68 seconds, a woman in the United States is sexually assaulted.
In a lifetime, one out of every six American women has been the victim of an attempted or accomplished rape (14.8 percent completed, 2.8 percent attempted).
In their lives, about 3% of American men, or 1 in 33, have been subjected to an attempted or completed rape.
Why is consent education so important in schools?
Consent education is an important element of a child’s sexual health education. It’s a basic principle that may be taught to anyone at any age. It teaches your youngster that their opinions matter and that they have options. They’ll also learn to respect others’ decisions and boundaries as they gain a better understanding of consent.
Legislators, schools, and communities can show respect to young people’s right to sexual agency and self-determination by implementing consent education.
Consent education will help kids understand consent in all facets of their lives, particularly when it comes to sexual health. Teaching your child basic respect for consent in all forms will help them comprehend it when it comes to their own and other people’s bodies.
When teaching young children the distinction between what is a good touch and a bad touch, schools establish the seeds of permission knowledge, and when discussing themes like relationship and communication skills, schools may highlight the idea of consent.
Sexual consent education, according to experts, should be a natural extension of these early lessons, giving children the tools they need to explore their developing sexuality in a safe and respectful manner.
There is an increased requirement of teaching this in K-12 system so that the basics of yes and no are instilled in their minds since childhood. This can emerge as a successful weapon against the growing cases of forced sexual advances.
The topics may cover educating about personal boundaries at elementary levels, then moving on to affirmative consent and teaching skills to practise consent and respect the boundaries of others in middle and high school.