Study of Australian youth reveals antiquated views on sex, gender and abuse

A study of young Australians has illuminated their views of sex, gender and relationship control. The findings are not good.



In yet another shock to the national assumption, a country-wide study of those aged 16-24 has illuminated our views on gender, sex and relationship control…and it’s not good.

According to the data, one in seven believe a man would be justified in raping a woman if she initiated sex but changed her mind, while almost a fourth of young men believe women find it flattering to be pursued, even if they’re expressly told to sod off. 43% of those polled the statement: “I think it’s natural for a man to want to appear in control of his partner in front of his male friends.”

The data comes from the National Community Attitudes Towards Violence Against Women Survey (NCAS) youth report, polling 1,761 Australians within the aforesaid age bracket. The findings also present a more universal statement, in that the youth of today are more likely to identify workplace equality (and leadership), that doesn’t extend to coercion, sexism, or the destructive behaviours within their own relationships.

“A large proportion of young people support attitudes that deny gender inequality is a problem,” the report disclosed. “Young men are substantially more likely to express these attitudes than young women across all questions in this theme.” By ways of an example, 45% of young people believe that women exaggerate gender inequality, with men more likely to hold this view than women by a margin of 52%-37%.

75% of young men believe that women misinterpret remarks as being sexist, and 37% believe that exaggerate claims of violence to secure an advantage in court. The same number agreed with the statement “It is common for sexual assault accusations to be used as a way of getting back at men”.

The lead researcher of the study (Dr Anastasia Powell from RMIT University) said, “A lot of young people believe it’s a gender-neutral issue where men and women are equally using violence, but we know from police statistics and surveys this is largely a problem of men’s violence against women”.

Another sticking point is the lack of education around what constitutes abuse, as 20% of young men did not believe keeping tabs on their partner’s whereabouts constitutes a form of abuse, Powell said, while a further 11% believed that stalking wasn’t a form of abuse.

Clearly, the line is drawn by us. Our children learn from example, and a lack of knowledge is hereditary. As it was not handed down to us, we will not hand it down to them. What is needed, I feel, is a realisation, followed by a chat. If we don’t know, ask, then hand it down to those who look up to us.





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