Kids getting the wrong message on sex and relationships

SCHOOLS, parents and pop culture are letting our kids down.

This is one of the shock findings from a survey of 3000 young people on domestic violence.

The Hall and Partners Open Mind research for federally funded anti-domestic violence organisation Our Watch also reveals damning youth attitudes towards women.

The study, released on Friday, shows one-third of young people do not think that exerting control over some one else is a form of violence.

It reveals one quarter of adolescents believe harassing and insulting girls is not serious and that it is normal to pressure young women into having sex. More than a quarter said men should be "tough and strong" and 16% thought "women should know their place".

"The study has shown that the social mores that continue to define youth relationships - along with the significant influence of social media, pornography and porn-inspired popular culture - are poor preparation for young people learning to negotiate sexual relationships," the report's introduction said.

It said parents rarely discussed healthy relationships with their sons, and some schools provided a basic "reading of the biology of reproduction (and risk of disease)" as sex education.

However, schools with relationship programs were having successful outcomes.

The Chronicle and Australian Regional Media are pushing for the Queensland and NSW governments to introduce respectful relationship programs in schools and domestic violence-specific courts.


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