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Expert advice

22nd Aug 2023

Sexuality expert shares what age parents should introduce consent

Jody Coffey

Many viewers were left confused.

Sexuality expert Deanne Carson, in a bid to kickstart a culture of consent from birth, claims that parents should ask babies their permission to change their nappies.

During an appearance on Australian TV, she made her opinions on parents introducing consent very early in their children’s lives known.

Speaking on ABC, Carson told the hosts that she has worked with children from the age of three upwards regarding consent but believes parents should be setting these ideas in motion even sooner.

One example the sexuality expert have was to begin asking questions such as “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,’ she 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.”

Carson re-emphasised that consent practices should be put in place for children by parents from birth after the presenter was seen visibly confused around the timeline for introducing consent.

However, the Australian sex educator isn’t alone her in beliefs on the controversial subject.

Mum Lottie Daley received similar response when she appeared on This Morning in 2019 and also said that parents should let their children know when they are about to change their nappies.

Daley, who is friends with Russell Brand, chatted with the presenters at the time, Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes, about whether tickling should be banned.

This came following Brand’s omission that he would ‘punch’ anyone who tried to tickle his daughter.

However, the conversations around tickling led to discussions about consent and body autonomy, where Daley likened tickling to changing a nappy, suggesting parents should inform their children when they’re about to change their nappies.

“When you start learning about body autonomy and consent for our children when they become a bit older, we should be modelling this behaviour from birth, like letting your baby know you are changing its nappy.

“I want her to know that it’s her body. It’s not a case of them saying ‘yes or ‘no,’ it’s modelling that repetition and a habit of checking in with your children and making sure they are happy with what you are doing with them,” Daley shared.

This, however, left many viewers confused.

Under a post on X with the news article about Daley’s beliefs, one said: “Sh**s going too far man….honestly.”

“This planet is done. Best thing that can to it is a meteor so it can start again,” another wrote.

 While another sarcastically wrote: “Okie dokie; il just leave my baby in a shi**y nappy until she can confidently tell me, or give me written permission to change her.”