Educator says parents should ask baby for consent before changing nappy

A relationship and sexuality educator has caused widespread debate after claiming parents should be asking their babies for permission before doing a nappy change.

Deanne Carson, CEO of Body Safety Australia, appeared on ABC News when she made the comments, which have since gone viral.

In the segment, Ms Carson told the presenter that parents would be setting up a “culture of consent in their homes” if they simply asked their babies: “I’m going to change your nappy now, is that okay?”


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“Of course, a baby’s not going to respond, ‘Yes Mum, that’s awesome, I’d love to have my nappy changed, but if you leave a space and wait for body language and wait to make eye contact, then you’re letting that child know that their response matters,” she said.

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Since the interview, Ms Carson has been dealing with a number of online trolls and has taken to her Facebook page to respond.

“I gave an interview the other day about teaching consent to young children. Sadly, some people have chosen to ridicule me (oh no! Pink hair! Must be a lesbian!) and the notion of giving infants bodily autonomy (poo in nappies har har amiright?!)” Ms Carson wrote.

“For those people I’m posting this.

“One in three girls, one in seven boys will be sexually assaulted by the time they are eighteen years old. One in twelve girls will be sexually abused before their sixth birthday.

“The work we do with children, teachers and parents is international best practice in abuse prevention. It teaches children their rights AND their responsibilities and connects them with people who care and can help. It invites their parents into the discussion and is sensitive to cultural and family values.

“Troll me all you want, add to your blog inches, but remember that when you do, you are negating the voices of these brave survivors of sexual abuse.”

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