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Monday, 2 April 2007

Everyone's Got a Bottom, a children's book written by Tess Rowley and illustrated by Jodi Edwards, was launched yesterday. It "is believed to be the first in Australia to use the words vulva, vagina, penis and testicles in the context of teaching young children about self-protective behaviour".

But leading childcare services company ABC Learning Centres said that it would not buy the book.

Holly Brennan, of Family Planning Queensland (which published the book), said that "children should be taught early that they owned their bodies, and how to identify 'wrong' touching".

Sex abuse researcher Professor Freda Briggs said that "preschool children were deliberately targeted by some pedophiles because they were too young to withstand cross-examination in court".

Evidence from Professor Briggs's research with 84 convicted child molesters shows they preyed on children who knew least about their rights. Boys especially were told the abuse was "sex education". Her research has also shown children feel they cannot report "rude" behaviour because it means using "rude" words that could get them into trouble.

ABC Learning's Web site says nothing about equipping children to deal with paedophiles, although it does promote a "tailored learning curriculum" that "focuses on each child’s unique style of learning that allows them to gain the most from experiences".

In the light of this story it sounds like baloney.

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