The ABC has come under fire for airing a segment in which a ‘sexuality expert’ calls for parents to not change nappies without asking for their child’s consent.

Sky News commentator Rowan Dean slammed the segment, which was aired on Tuesday, labelling it as ‘lefty lunacy’.

In the video, Deanne Carson talks about how to establish a ‘culture of consent’ in homes, starting at birth, shares Daily Mail.

Ms Carson provided an example of how parents can begin to implement the culture when changing nappies.

She said: ‘”I’m going to change your nappy now, is that okay?” Of course the baby is 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.’

Pinky McKay shares her thoughts

Pinky has joined the debate on her Facebook page writing, “Why are people ridiculing this woman ? What she is saying is basic respect.”

Pinky explains, “I was interviewed about her comments – I agree with her, but looks like another commentator was found because they wanted controversy. I have seen 7 and 8 week old babies respond when asked ‘do you want a massage?’ – when a visual cue (rubbing oil on your palms and showing baby your hands as you ask permission) is shown, after just a few manage sessions, these tiny babies will lift a leg to place it in the parents hand ready to start massage.”

“Other babies will greet you with open body language, eye contact and engagement. They will also let you know clearly when they have had enough and would like to stop being massaged.

“Even if a baby doesn’t ‘understand’ when you ask for consent, or you are needing to do a non negotiable task such as changing a nappy, it’s starting a culture of respect and teaching that children have a right to refuse unwanted touching by talking them through experiences such as nappy changes.

“Imagine if somebody came along and whipped your pants off without so much as a ‘please’ or ‘thank you’.

“What if somebody we barely knew came up and gave us a big sloppy kiss – with beer or tobacco breathe? How easy is it to treat babies and small children as we would like to be treated.”

Meanwhile the discussion has been a huge topic of debate

Many people are commenting on the total lunacy of her argument, while a discussion on Sunrise did see many agreeing that we unknowingly did this anyway by chatting to our babies as we change their diaper telling them what we are doing as we go.

We often chatter away telling bub “Let’s change your wet nappy”  OR “Ohh you have a stinky one their let’s clean you up”.

 

Ms Carson posted a note to her Facebook page defending herself against the trolls she has been battling since the interview – ‘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?!)

‘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.’

Sadly 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.

Deanne shares, “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.”

Share your comments below


  • I think most of us talk to our babies while we are doing things with them, bathing, changing nappies, toilet training etc. If we are doing this we are halfway there, and our children will soon wake up to the fact that mum or dad is doing them a favour by changing their nappy so they don’t have to put up with a burnt behind.

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  • I always used to tell my boys that I was going to change their nappies or give them a bath. They never said anything but, then again, I didn’t expect them to say no.

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  • How silly, if I asked my 20 month old if he wants his nappy changed he would just say ‘no!’ What do I do then? Let him sit in it and get a bad nappy rash or go ahead even though he has not given consent? I don’t know which is worse. Do I want to teach my son that his ‘no’ can be violated? I’d rather teach him that as his parent I know what is in his best interests right now, and as he gets older he will have more and more control over what happens to him. Consent is important, but common sense in the parental relationship should trump the baby/ toddler’s feelings because they do not yet have the ability to be reasoned with.

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  • This is ridiculous, start explaining when they can understand not babies.

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  • I will also say, each to their own.

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  • I agree that as kids get older, you should talk to them about what’s going on and why, and try to get them to agree. Don’t know about starting it with babies.

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  • I agree that this is an interesting argument. How often do we say to a big that we are just going to change that wet happy or let’s go clean you up and snake you more comfortable. I think K most of us tell the hub now matter how little what we are going to do. I feel somehow that this is possibly more important than asking for a consent that the tiniest of bubs can not give. I think K majority of parents are talking to Thier little ones allowing them to know before hand that they will be cleaned up and changed. It seems to happen naturally. Why make it so po!itically correct. It a good argument of what are you going tondo if they refuse or say no. You are going to to it anyway won’t makes more sense to let them know why you are undressing them. Next are we going To also ask consent before placing them on a potty or consent to go to the toilet or wipe Thier nose or wash Thier face. It seems to be taking things too far.

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  • Each to their own.
    My toddler runs away from me laughing whilst saying no. She thinks it’s a game but if she doesn’t let me clean her bottom, it gets extremely sore. Am I meant to let her sit in a poo nappy all day & have it burn her bottom until she tells me it’s ok to change her nappy. I don’t think so.

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  • Each to their own ……..

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  • She can do that with her babies, and I will parent my babies in the way I feel is right and appropriate.

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  • Also yes plenty of parents tell babies what they are going to do and they might ask toddlers but I can tell you that while a toddler might not like sitting in mess plenty of babies do and it’s specifically babies not toddlers she’s talking about. Lots of comments like we all ask in childcare and they say….. that’s toddlers and not what this is talking about.

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  • This worries me, it is more dangerous than people realise. If you ask your baby for consent and they don’t want their nappy changed what are you going to do? You’re going to change it anyway because it is bad for them to sit in poo can burn them and make them sick do what you end up teaching them and any siblings watching is that it doesn’t matter whether or not you consent I’ll do it anyway. This is definitely not something we want to be teaching our kids. What we need to be doing is explaining in age appropriate ways what they are in control of. Unfortunately this extreme talk ridicules the important message of teaching our children about consent.

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  • interesting take on things

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  • Very interstesting article

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