Too many young men with negative attitudes to sex and violence, survey finds
Elissa Doherty, Herald Sun
May 7, 2015 5:33am
ONE in four youths thinks it’s normal to pressure girls into sex, and for a male to slap his girlfriend during a drunken tiff, a major survey has found.
The disturbing views have sparked calls for an urgent overhaul of how children and teens are educated about relationships in schools and the home, to stamp out dangerous attitudes and prevent a spiral into domestic violence.
A quarter of people aged 12-24 did not consider a male insulting or verbally harassing females to be serious, while 15 per cent also believed it was OK for males to pressure a girl for sex if they were both drunk, the survey found.
And one in four young men feels that controlling and violent behaviours are symbolic of male strength.
The research of 3000 people was commissioned by anti-violence foundation Our Watch to launch a new campaign for The Line, to encourage respectful relationships among young people, with ex-AFL star Luke Ablett as ambassador.
The survey discovered one in six still held beliefs a women should “know their place”, and one in four thought if a man was normally gentle, it was OK for him to sometimes slap his girlfriend if he was drunk.
What do you think of this survey’s findings? Tell us below:
The report found while young people knew behaviours like rape and intimidation were unacceptable**, a core of young men were likely to justify violence against females.**
Our Watch chair Natasha Stott Despoja said it was clear from the findings that parents were not equipping their children with the right information about relationships and sex.
She said relationship education in schools was also falling short and not delving beyond anatomy and sexually transmitted infections.
Young people were being forced to rely on friends, pornography and celebrities, which could “perpetuate gender stereotypes’’ and even promote violence, she said.
“Values that inform and shape relationships are formed in early childhood,’’ she said.
Mr Ablett said the campaign aimed to give people the knowledge and tools to stop disrespectful behaviour.
“With a lack of popular culture role models and the majority of young Australian males accessing porn, expectations of gender roles and sex are far from realistic,” he said.