Sex, consent and responsibility

Attitudes to sex, consent and women have all come under scrutiny lately, as well as alcohol use and abuse that is associated with many of our society’s problems.

Who should take responsibility for the behaviour of teenagers? The teenagers themselves need to to an extent, but they need to be taught how.

Who’s responsibility is it to teach them?

Stuff: Paula Bennett: Consent education already taught in schools and it’s ‘not a government solution alone’

Acting Prime Minister Paula Bennett says consent is already taught in New Zealand schools, and that the issue of a perceived rape culture is not a “government solution alone”.

On Monday, hundreds of demonstrators – mostly high-school students – turned up to protest at Parliament calling for the compulsory teaching of consent, and of the rights of women, in all secondary schools.

Speaking to media on Tuesday, Bennett said she supported the protesters and “the fact they were here and their voices were being heard, I think that does more for societal change than anything”.

We can always be looking at the guidelines…but this is not a government solution alone.

“This has got to go from our young people to our teachers, to our parents and us parliamentarians, and society in addressing some of the behaviours unfortunately still in pockets in our society,” she said.

Bennett is right. responsibilities are complex.

Parents need to be at the forefront when it comes to teaching children safe behaviour, respect and responsibility. Much of this is taught be example. But not all parents do the job well.

Schools increasingly have to step up and ensure basics are taught, including what are appropriate and inappropriate behaviours.

Students as groups should also  be more involved. The protest staged at Parliament yesterday was a good sign.

And different parts of social media can also play a part, by repeating and reinforcing respect and reasonable behaviours.

This is a whole of society issue, change in attitudes and behaviours are required, and we can all do our bit.

32 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  March 14, 2017

    It would be helpful perhaps if some here could give some guidance on what is and what is not appropriate “locker room talk”.

    • Gezza

       /  March 14, 2017

      And I’ll step up & be the first to say that I was quite open with me mates at school when I said if Tina Turner wanted to have sex with me I wouldn’t say no.

    • Kevin

       /  March 14, 2017

      If it stays in the locker room (words and action) then it’s “appropriate”. Anything else, then it’s not appropriate. Especially having sex with someone who’s so drunk they’re almost comatose. If these idiots didn’t understand that in the real world that’s rape then we have more to worry about than just “rape culture”.

      • Gezza

         /  March 14, 2017

        So, talking about getting girls drunk so you can root them is ok as long as it stays in the locker room? That’s your position?

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  March 14, 2017

      I wouldn’t take anything said in a locker room at face value. It’s a place where b.s. and ragging reign supreme and sensible folk keep their mouths shut.

      • Gezza

         /  March 14, 2017

        Yeah well that’s what they said to shithead so being an adolescent with an ego & a reputation to now defend he went out and proved it with a 15 year old.

      • Maybe sensible people should open their mouths more and call crap when they hear it.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  March 14, 2017

          If you want to be a therapist or a pugilist that’s an option. Gezza’s example is that it was counter-productive.

  2. Kevin

     /  March 14, 2017

    Good on Paula for sticking to commonsense and not giving in to the mob. Any changes to how consent is taught will be a political move.

  3. Blazer

     /  March 14, 2017

    is monogomy the natural instinct of humans or is it implied as a vital part of society’ as it has evolved regarding economic and popular moral factors?

    • I think there’s a variety of instincts.

      I’m strictly monogamous simply by choice, total commitment to a partner with it reciprocated is what I prefer and what I live.

      Obviously that’s not a universal instinct. Many others are anything from much less committed to totally uncommitted.

      • Blazer

         /  March 14, 2017

        is monogamy natural for humans…that is the question…my life experience says…no.

        • Seems natural to me, I’m sure I’m not the only one. Trust and friendship are as important as sex and love. All combined they are something special.

          • Anonymous Coward

             /  March 14, 2017

            So you’ve had ONE life partner?

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  March 14, 2017

              Consent to me means not so much that someone should ask (which implies that it’s something that they do TO you, not WITH you) when it’s obvious that both parties want to do it, but that if one says that they don’t want to , the other should respect that-they are NOT consenting. This is clumsily worded, I know.

              Rallies like this re pointless. Will it make one rapist reform ? I think not. It’s like the Moko/Nia/Delcelia/pick a name protests…have they changed anything ?

              I find it frustrating that advice to girls about not taking risks is often greeted with bleats about victim blaming.

        • Gezza

           /  March 14, 2017

          To be honest I didn’t find being married to the Mrs (no regrets there) put a stop to being attracted to other women but it was made pretty clear that if I did anything about that I was in for a world of pain. And I liked that.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  March 14, 2017

            There’s a huge difference between finding someone attractive and dwelling on this or doing anything about it…I can’t see you as a Trump-style pussy-grabber or someone who arrogantly walks into dressingrooms because he owns the show (and the girls, by implication)

            Too much never so much as looking at anyone else can be counter-productive. A couple I knew were so absorbed in each other that they became total bores, gazing into each others’ eyes, always together, never apart even long enough to have a real conversation with anyone else. They married and it didn’t last, I suppose that they just sucked each other dry and then found that there was nothing left and they bored each other.

            • Blazer

               /  March 14, 2017

              ‘sucked each other dry’….oral sex is but part of a relationship….dear.Do behave.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  March 14, 2017

              I hoped that nobody would put a dirty meaning into that expression which was obviously not meant in that way. I even began to change it in case someone with a fourth-form mentality that sniggers at anything that could possibly have a double meaning read it and sniggered, but then decided that this was a serious adult discussion and probably nobody would be so crude. It was too much to hope for, I suppose. If you can’t see that it was used to show that they thought about nothing else but each other until there was nothing left, I pity you for your lack of perception and seeming lack of experience with relationships.

          • Blazer

             /  March 14, 2017

            whatever…turns you ..on…so..theysay.

            • Gezza

               /  March 14, 2017

              No I just liked the idea someone found me so attractive they’d be completely faithful & expected me to have the same standard.

            • Blazer

               /  March 14, 2017

              @I was referring to the pain..I thought you must have been into B&D.

            • Gezza

               /  March 14, 2017

              Oh, sorry. I didn’t think you’d take me literally. But I understand how that can happen sometimes, of course. 😬

  4. patupaiarehe

     /  March 14, 2017

    Parents need to be at the forefront when it comes to teaching children safe behaviour, respect and responsibility. Much of this is taught be example. But not all parents do the job well.

    Touche’ Pete. Having an honest relationship with your ‘teenager’, is the best favour you can do for them. Our eldest rolls his eyes, when we tell him that he has to ‘keep an eye’ on his siblings on Sunday morning, because ‘Mum & Dad are busy’… 😉 He tried to have a moan about it to me recently, and I replied, “Would you be happier if your mother & I didn’t enjoy having private time together?”.

  5. “This is a whole of society issue, change in attitudes and behaviours are required …”

    Tell that to the producers of ‘Game of Thrones’ … or ‘Grand Theft Auto’ …

    Regarding human relationships, schools suffer from a fundamental problem: Whatever gets taught in the classroom immediately gets undone in the playground …

    • patupaiarehe

       /  March 14, 2017

      The problem, PZ, is that most parents don’t educate their kids that GoT & GTA, are both ‘works of fiction’. Most parents aren’t even aware, that their kids watch, or play both…

      • Works of fiction are arguably more dangerous than documentaries patu …

        The suspended disbelief required for fictional ‘entertainment’ makes a person more open to play upon the emotions …

        Orchestrated emotionality generally has the desired effect regardless of your awareness that the situations portrayed aren’t “real” …. because they are real … emotionally …

        • patupaiarehe

           /  March 14, 2017

          Which is why boys need to be educated about porn, PZ. It’s a dangerous work of fiction, at best…

  6. Corky

     /  March 14, 2017

    ”And different parts of social media can also play a part, by repeating and reinforcing respect and reasonable behaviours.”

    I agree. Problem is, respect and modest behaviour belong to the Conservative camp. Our media doesn’t do conservatism.

  1. Sex, consent and responsibility – NZ Conservative Coalition