A leading Australian sexuality expert has ignited controversy after suggesting parents should be asking their babies for permission to change their nappies, in order to set up a “culture of consent” from birth.
Deanne Carson, founder of Body Safety Australia, made the comments during a segment on ABC news about teaching consent to young children, explaining that while she works with kids from three years of age, she also works with parents – of newborns.
Creating a culture of consent from birth, she noted, means asking permission before changing a baby’s nappy.
“I’m going to change your nappy now, is that okay?” Ms Carson said of her approach to infant consent. “Of course a baby isn’t going to respond ‘yes mum that’s awesome, I’d love to have my nappy changed'” the researcher, speaker and author continued. “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.”