Milkshake sex education video: The Australian government is under fire for its sex education campaign in which a teenage couple is seen dealing with issues of consent using the metaphor of milkshake.
In a video that now has been removed, the Australian government’s Respect Matters programme partner The Good Society showed a teenage girl smearing milkshake on a boy’s face after he said that he doesn’t like her milkshake.
Several users of social media and sex education experts raised concerns over the video along with other similar ones which used the metaphors of pizza and tacos. They said that the ‘bizarre’ comparison of women and food items positions women as consumable objects.
This is worse than anything I ever saw or heard during sex education classes in the '60s & '70s.
And of course it's the female who crosses the line with the milkshake, right?
Wake up, Australia. Wake. Up. #auspol #EnoughIsEnough https://t.co/Qi1CJOgA2p
— Jenny Frecklington-Jones; Spiky 🦂💧🌏🏳️🌈🐀 (@JonesHowdareyou) April 19, 2021
The Good Society on its website posted about 350 videos, podcasts and stories aimed to ” support respectful relationships education in all Australian schools”. However, many raised objection to their approach as their educational content doesn’t mention the word sex. The usage of food items was seen as a confusing and unsuccessful attempt to get the point home.
Karen Willis of Fair Agenda and End Rape on Campus Australia said that the government’s online campaign on sex education was “concerning and confusing”. She added, “Young people are more sophisticated than this content gives them credit for. And sex and consent is far more complicated than videos about milkshakes and sharks at the beach.”
Speaking to the Guardian, a sexual health academic at Curtin University, Dr Jacqui Hendriks also criticised the milkshake sex education video and others, he said that the videos failed to address the issues of sex and consent. She said that talking about sex without actually mentioning sex isn’t helpful. “We need to be specifically talking about consent in an intimate and sexual relationship,” she added.
The secretary of the Department of Education, Skills and Employment, Dr Michele Bruniges said on Tuesday that the two videos on The Good Society have been removed. This came after the videos faced severe backlash on social media. “The Department will continue to engage with experts to evaluate the materials that appear on the website to ensure they are fit for purpose and reflect current experiences and community issues,” Dr Bruniges added.