New survey by Chanel Contos reveals sex education varies hugely between schools

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A new survey conducted on social media by former Sydney schoolgirl, Chanel Contos, 23, has revealed students are being taught inconsistent lessons on sex, consent and respectful relationships, The Daily Telegraph reports.

According to the Telegraph, some Sydney schoolgirls claimed to have been told tampons will take their virginity, while more than half of respondents – 56 per cent – claimed they were taught how to escape sexual assault by pretending they needed to remove a tampon.

Other young women say they were not taught about contraception because it contradicted religious dogma demand­ing abstinence.

Since last year, consent must be taught to all students in Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE) classes until Year 10, but the syllabus is not explicit about how teachers deliver the lessons.

Sexual consent activist, Chanel Contos, has criticised schools’ refusal to audit what students are being taught on the issue. Picture: Hollie Adams.

Ms Contos told the Telegraph more needs to be done to ensure the lessons are clearer for students.

“It is one thing to have a reformed curriculum but how that information is actually delivered to students is just as important,” Ms Contos told the media outlet.

“We can’t measure this sort of thing based on the satisfaction of teachers or the amount they access teaching materials, but instead by periodically auditing sexuality education and measuring both the understanding of the students and the changes in rates of sexual violence in our community.”

All three school sectors – public, private and Catholic – signed a statement of intent four months ago pledging to take “concrete action” to ­improve consent education. The education sectors have since ruled out a thorough ­review of what is currently taught to students.

Head of The Association of Independent Schools NSW (AISNSW), Dr Geoff Newcombe AM.

Head of The Association of Independent Schools NSW (AISNSW), Dr Geoff Newcombe AM, said such an audit would lumber schools with too much responsibility, and more schools are set to roll out how-to guides informing parents how to teach their children about sexual consent.

“There will be a range of material suitable for students from Kindergarten to Year 12 as well as information on reporting channels for incidents of sexual harm, assault and sexual violence,” Dr Newcombe told the Telegraph.

According to the media outlet, the Federal Government will also send out how-to-guides for parents, but will first conduct surveys of all public school PC groups to find out what parents know about sexual consent and what advice they want included in how-to guides for teaching teens about consent.

Pending COVID-19 restrictions, the surveys are planned to go out to parents in Week 7. The government has also begun webinars to explain to parents of public school children what is being taught in schools about consent and ­respectful relationships.

Source: The Daily Telegraph.

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