8 April 2016

Toddlers and babies should be viewed by child carers and pre-school teachers as sexual beings according to material linked to a new early childhood training module, sparking a warning from the Australian Christian Lobby that children are now at the centre of a dangerous gender experiment.

According to the ACL, behind the Start Early training module developed by Early Childhood Australia with funding from the NSW Government, is the idea that ‘not everyone fits into male or female gender; there is a continuum of variation.’

ACL spokeswoman Wendy Francis will today outline ACL’s concerns with the training module at a NSW parliamentary inquiry into the sexualisation of children and young people.

“The ideological thinking that gender is fluid is underlying this module as it did in the controversial Safe Schools program,” Ms Francis said.

“One resource book ‘Children’s Sexual Development and Behaviour: Pants Aren’t Rude” which is linked to the Start Early training module, encourages parents and teachers to think about their children, and even babies, as ‘sexual beings’ who should be allowed to sexually stimulate themselves from infancy.

“Most parents would be disturbed that childcare staff and pre-school educators are being told to view their children as sexual beings.

“This is an extreme and dangerous way for any adults to view children,” Ms Francis said.

“In the book, educators are told to encourage children to keep masturbating in private, rather than telling them to stop.

“Most would believe it can be harmful to talk with young children about sexual topics before they are ready and it is completely inappropriate for educators to be taught these ideas and encouraged to apply it to our toddlers, particularly without the knowledge of parents.”

In response to a Herald Sun article by journalist Susie O’Brien, Early Childhood Australia released a statement saying that its free online modules will not include information about sex, sexuality and cross-dressing.

“Yet a month on, that information remains in the recommended resource book for Start Early and can still be purchased through their website,” Ms Francis said.

“The NSW Government should review its support of the program.”

At today's hearing Ms Francis will also speak on the impact of:

  • The failure of the Advertising Standards board to reflect community standards, proposing that outdoor advertising be ‘G’ rated.

  • The sexualising content in Teen magazines,

  • The harms of pornography on children,

  • The recent lowering of television standards,

  • The contested gender ideology in the Safe Schools Coalition

The home page of the inquiry - link for journalists


Related ACL media release: Education Minister urged to cancel transgender and sex lessons for toddlers

Media note:

ACL spokeswoman Wendy Francis will be addressing the inquiry at 3.30pm today at the Waratah Room, NSW Parliament House.

Following this she is available for interviews.


Media contact:02 6259 0431