Family First agrees with the head of Catholic Education in Tasmania, Gerard Gaskin, who has criticised the new national curriculum’s approach to “consent” and sex education for children.

"Consent is proposed as the only standard we should use to judge whether a sexual act is right or wrong, legal or illegal," Dr Gaskin wrote.

"In Catholic morality, consent is necessary, but not sufficient, to make the sexual act right or wrong. It is the long-held teaching of Christ that sexual activity is only legitimately expressed within the loving relationship between husband and wife.

"Note too, the ACARA [the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority] also says that consent education must be taught explicitly.

"It is difficult to imagine how such complex and bewildering sexual information could possibly be taught to little children in any way that could ever be considered as age appropriate."

Family First agrees with Dr Gaskin that the "sexual and moral formation" of a child was the "exclusive right of parents".

"Yet, the federal and state governments appear to have decided that such highly sensitive, amoral and potentially harmful information must now be provided by teachers and that it must start in the first years of schooling.

"This places an unreasonable and unacceptable demand on our teachers.

"Needless to say, Catholic Education Tasmania reserves the right to question and challenge any educational prescriptions that would impose such an anti-family and secular ideology on our schools, students and families."

Family First commends Dr Gaskin’s courage in speaking up.

While Family First recognises that adults will make their own choices, children should be informed of the benefits proven in social science for monogamous, heterosexual marriage.

Dr Gaskin is right to point out there is much more to sex than simply consent, given its role in family formation and human flourishing if handled within moral parameters.

If consent teaching and explicit information is all children are given, they will be short changed.