Respectful Relationships: Victorian children to be taught boys conditioned to dominate women

Herald Sun, 19 October 2016

VICTORIAN children will be taught that men and boys are conditioned by society to be “heterosexual”, “emotionless” and encouraged to exert dominance over women.

Under the Respectful Relationships curriculum, seen by the Herald Sun, students will be taught about “identifying the relationship between gender-based violence and gender inequality” and will explore the concepts of “privilege, equality and equity” and ways of overcoming gender stereotypes.

In the learning material for “gender policy” for children in grade 1 the concepts of “gender-based violence” and “gender norms” are introduced.

The glossary of definitions for grades 1 and 2 pupils includes terms such as transphobia, homophobic bullying, hegemonic masculinity, gender nonconforming, cisgender and heteronormativity.

Grade 3 and 4 children will be taught “gender based violence scenarios” such as a group of girls excluding another girl for not being “pretty” enough.

More than $20 million will be spent by the Victorian Government on the Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships program, covering children from kindergarten to year 12.

The coursework includes a session justifying the topic being taught at schools: “Some people assume that there is no need for schools to teach about equity and gender, believing that women are no longer disadvantaged in countries like Australia. However, the data shows that women and girls continue to experience inequality and discrimination in many parts of their lives.”

The contentious program, to be rolled out in 2017, has been labelled simplistic, ideological indoctrination and “brainwashing” by critics.

“The Respectful Relationships curriculum has moved so far from its original purpose it may as well be a radical gender studies course more at home in university halls rather than Victorian classrooms,” Opposition education spokesman Nick Wakeling said.

“Schools should never be used to brainwash our children with propaganda about white male privilege, how ‘masculinity’ encourages ‘control and dominance’ over women, or how men are ‘socially engineered’ to express their pain and stress in anger and violence.”

Education Minister James Merlino was unavailable for comment.


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