FAMILY PLANNING ASSOCIATION PUBLICATION
The Hon. P. F. O'GRADY [3.44]: This afternoon I wish to make some comments about the Fact and Fantasy File Diary 1992. The banning of the so-called sex diary put together by teenagers under the auspices of the Family Planning Association is a hugely retrograde step. Let us be thankful that the Channel 9 program last night, hosted by Sophie Lee and called, simply, "Sex", actually made it to air. I know of many parents who now want to buy a copy of the program for their adolescent children. Some people are acting as if it is only the teenagers of today who have sex. The fact is that teenagers from all areas have sex, and they always have. If people want to deny that fact, all they need to do is pick up James McClelland's book Stirring the Possum, in which he talks in some detail about what sexual activity was like in his adolescence.
The Hon. E. P. Pickering: It was different from the way it is today.
The Hon. P. F. O'GRADY: That is right. It was very different, and the knowledge is very different today from what it was.
The Hon. E. P. Pickering: How would the honourable member know?
The Hon. P. F. O'GRADY: Because I have read this book, which shows that adolescent sex is not something that is new. It has been proved time and again that if you try to ban something, you just encourage interest. Every film that the Christians attack
ends up doing very nicely. "The Last Temptation of Christ", of course, is a classic example of that. I only went to see it because of the commotion made about it. It is no different with sex among young people. If you carry on like it is a disgusting crime, you encourage them to go and try out this thing that adults do themselves but hide from their children. Given early and correct information, teenagers will be able to make an informed choice about their own bodies. Given no information, like in the dreadful days when you did not mention the word sex at all, teenagers will continue to do it but will be in danger from lack of knowledge.
The Hon. J. F. Ryan: There is a moderate course.
The Hon. P. F. O'GRADY: Certainly. They should be given informed, balanced information and encouraged to make sensible decisions.
The Hon. J. F. Ryan: I would hardly call that informed and balanced.
The Hon. P. F. O'GRADY: I think it is. An extract from the diary reads:
The Hon. Dr Marlene Goldsmith: No.
The Hon. P. F. O'GRADY: That is a situation in which a lot of young people find themselves. They are not sure what to do. The answer is, no. They should be encouraged and given information that ensures that they feel confident and comfortable about the decisions they make. To say that the information in the sex diary will encourage sex shows real ignorance. I suggest that if the 47 teenagers who put the information together for the Family Planning Association diary had left out the word masturbation, there would have been less moral outrage over the diary. If there is one word that seems to scare this society more than the word sex, it is the word masturbation. Any adult here today who grew up under the blanket of Christianity knows that when you went to sleep at night you did not put your hands under the sheets, lest you commit one of God's greatest sins. That sort of misinformation frightened many children, and their fear of their own bodies and of sex stayed with them into adulthood. It is one reason why we are such a sexually repressed society. According to Reverend the Hon. F. J. Nile on the "Sex" program last night, giving children information on sex is the same as giving them a box of matches. They will screw around - and they will light the match. As a parent he should know that if one tells children about the dangers of matches and how to handle them safely, they will be at less risk of harming themselves. The same goes for sex. If one tells teenagers the facts openly, they will be able to make decisions for themselves, sensibly and with dignity.
The Hon. Dr Marlene Goldsmith: With important facts it is value judgments.
The Hon. P. F. O'GRADY: The diary gives information.
The Hon. Dr Marlene Goldsmith: It is more than information. There are no values.
The Hon. P. F. O'GRADY: I reject that. The portion I read demonstrates
clearly a valid - [Time expired.]
I've known a guy for ages and I have dated him once. I know he wants me to have sex with him but I feel uncomfortable if I have sex with him and don't go out with him. What can I say to stop him and keep the relationship as it is?