The Age reports…
“A Melbourne Pentecostal megachurch teaching Year 7 girls that too much sex could put them at risk of becoming like overused sticky tape has apologised for the material.
In a statement released late Friday afternoon, CityLife Church executive minister Peter Leigh said: “In response to recent media coverage relating to CityLife Church … we apologise and agree that this material should not have been handed out to students.”
“We accept responsibility and a full review of the program and material is underway.”
The Education Department has launched an investigation into why Fairhills High School in Knoxfield in Melbourne’s outer east, has offered a program teaching a class of young girls that a chemical released in females’ brains called ‘oxytocin’ made them more needy than boys.
A booklet given to the students said that “girls are needier than guys in a relationship and always want to be close” under a subtitle ‘Science & Facts’.
“If a woman becomes physically close and hugs a guy for 20 seconds it will trigger the bonding process, creating a greater desire to be near him. Then if the guy wants to take the relationship further it will become harder for her to say no,” the booklet said.
Girls were warned having too many relationships could break “this special chemical bond” and harm a woman’s capacity to form future relationships, “almost like tape that loses its stickiness after being applied and removed multiple times”.
And girls dressing immodestly, the booklet stated, would not be respected by men.
“The image we put out to boys is the kind of boys we attract! If YOU don’t show self-respect to your body by dressing appropriately how can you expect another guy to?”
The booklet was handed out as part of a weekly youth program run by Epic Youth during school hours in June.
The school did not seek parental consent for the program.
Professor and director of the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society at La Trobe University, Jayne Lucke, said parents should be informed about what their kids were being taught about sex and gender, and it was a problem that no consent was given at the school.
“It becomes a very serious issue where parents discover after the fact that their children are learning about sex from a program they fundamentally disagree with.”
Renee Imbesi, who is a program officer of mental wellbeing at VicHealth, and also leads an anti-violence against women program, said teaching girls that men were more powerful in relationships than women, could breed tolerance for violence against women.
“The message that a girl couldn’t refuse a relationship if a guy wants to take it further, implies he is in control sexually, and that reinforces attitudes that men are always the ones who are in control in relationships,” she said.
“We should be promoting gender equality and teaching that sex is consensual in a relationship.”
Fairhills High School acting principal Russell Poulier said the school had cancelled the program and would co-operate with the department’s investigation.
An Education Department spokesman said “the content is totally out of step with department approaches to sexuality and relationships education.”