Australian sexual consent course for kids uses Grandma's kiss as example of consent

The example is part of a Victorian education programme for children.
The example is part of a Victorian education programme for children. Photo credit: Getty.

Grandma's sloppy kiss has become an example of consent in a new sexual education resource for Australian children.

The "light-hearted example" is being used to help empower kids against potential sexual abuse, ABC Australia reports. 

The move is part of a new government initiative to educate children about body autonomy from kindergarten. The programme uses case studies and examples that children can relate to, helping them understand concepts such as consent and sexuality, says the outlet.

The federal government has launched the teaching resource 'Respect Matters' as part of its women's safety package. The programme is not mandatory and states can decide whether to implement this part of the national curriculum. Australia's eastern states have been the first to integrate it into their syllabuses.

The course has been designed to teach students ideas surrounding consent, positive intervention, healthy relationships and seeking support.

However, the 'Respectful Relationships' programme in Victoria has been controversial due to some of the resources' "child-friendly" sex education examples.

"We're talking about situations such as Grandma wants to swoop in for the big sloppy kiss and if the child doesn't want that to happen, what they can do," childhood educator Margie Buttriss told the ABC.

"They can respectfully say 'no thanks Grandma, let's have a hug instead."

The example has received backlash on social media. While some have expressed support for the child-friendly illustration, many have slammed the example as encouraging children to become "alienated" from their family.

"And people wonder why kids are becoming more detached and alienated. I have no doubt that this lack of family and social bonds is what leads to destructive behaviour," one person tweeted.

"Good idea to teach young kids the concept of consent at a young age and with scenarios they can understand," wrote another.

"My grandchildren cry if I don't kiss them," said one grandmother.

Over 30 tertiary education providers have started implementing new ways to educate their students about the importance of consent.

Sydney's University of Technology has reportedly signed up for the 'Consent Matters' programme, meaning students are required to complete a 40-minute online course each semester in order to access their exam results.