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Australian schools are introducing lessons on male privilege

The new ‘respectful relationship’ curriculum will be made compulsory in all Victoria schools

Australia has reportedly launched a new education programme which will focus on gender inequality and male privilege. 

The “respectful relationship” curriculum – which will be taught to both primary and secondary students – will be made mandatory in all schools in the state of Victoria next year. Lessons will explore “social inequality”, “gender-based violence” and “male privilege”, as well as “sexual orientation” and the “dangers of pornography”. According to BBC News, education officials believe the classes will shatter stereotypes and reduce the “root causes” of domestic violence.

“Rather than being something that is earned, privilege is something that is awarded to a person based on characteristics assigned to them at birth such as sex, cultural identity, race and class,” reads the course guide. “Being born a male, you have advantages – such as being overly represented in the public sphere – and this will be true whether you personally approve or think you are entitled to this privilege.”

The new programme will ensure that students are taught from a young age to ignore gender stereotypes. In primary schools, children will apparently be shown imagery of boys and girls playing sport, doing housework and working in a number of different gender-biased professions. In secondary school, sexuality will be explored (including pansexuality and transsexuality), as well as the concept of male privilege. Hegemonic masculinity will also be looked at, with year 11 and 12 students examining why boys and men feel pressured into being “heterosexual, tough, athletic and emotionless.” 

Education Minister James Merlino, who pushed the curriculum changes, said that the lessons would help end the “vicious cycle” of family violence. “This is about teaching our kids to treat everyone with respect and dignity so we can start the cultural change we need in our society to end the scourge of family violence,” he told the BBC