Programs needed for young men with dangerous views on women

A LARGE group of young men are growing up thinking it is OK to control women, and that brutality is akin to "male strength" according to a survey commissioned by a group fighting domestic violence.

The survey found one-in-four men aged between 12 and 24 believed this, with a third of those considered to be at risk of attacking girls and women.

Anti-violence group Our Watch had 3000 young men and women questioned for the survey.

It also found that one-in-six young people felt "women should know their place" and one-in-three said controlling someone was not a form of violence.


Our Watch chair Natasha Stott Despoja said the findings showed that young people needed to be taught more about relationships, taking them beyond the classroom discussions of sexually transmitted disease and basic anatomy.

"Young people desperately want information and guidance from people they look up to, especially, parents and teachers. Instead, they get information from their friends, pornography, media and popular culture role models," she said.

"These settings can perpetuate gender stereotypes and condone and encourage violence."

It follows a major campaign by Australian Regional Media -- which publishes this website -- to have respectful relationship classes introduced in Queensland public schools.

A petition signed more 2500 people has now been handed to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

A person's views on relationships were formed in early childhood, so education was needed by children at quite a younger age.

"Engaging children and young people in respectful relationships education is an intervention area that been successful internationally.

"It has reduced violence-supportive attitudes and ones that adhere to static gender stereotypes."

Our Watch has now launched its educational program called "The Line".

It is an online compendium of articles and resources to guide people so they may break the cycle of violence.

The Line's ambassador -- former AFL player Luke Ablett -- said the campaign would also help encourage people not to tolerate hurtful or dangerous 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.

"All of this has a significant negative impact on young people's attitudes and behaviours when it comes to relationships, sexual and otherwise. It's a recipe for condoning violence against women and may even give rise to sexual assault.

"Over the next 18 months, The Line will implement a range of new activities to support parents and teachers.

"These efforts also reach out to our diverse community including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people, and young people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds."


Topics:  domestic violence editors picks our watch

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