Q What is the difference between sexualisation and sexuality? Sexuality is a normal and healthy part of our identity. Simply put, sexuality is how we expressourselves as a sexual being. It describes how important sexual expression is in a person's life, how one chooses to express that sexuality, and any preference one may have towards the type of sexual partner they choose. The way we choose to behave sexually is as individual and complicated as the ways we choose to dress or earn a living. Human sexuality rarely falls into neat categories or lends itself to simple labeling, but rather is a rich and complex area of human experience. Sexualisation, on the other hand, is very different to sexuality. It involves;
  • when a person’s value comes only from his or her sexual ‘hotness’ or behaviour, without taking in to account their personality,
  • a person’s physical attractiveness is judged by how ‘sexy’ they are (sexy being defined by what popular culture and the media tells us is sexy),
  • a person is sexually objectified — that means that they are made into a thing for other peoples sexual use, rather than seen as an individual person,
  • sexuality is inappropriately forced upon a person (like when an adult expression of sexuality is forced onto children who are not, at all, at that stage of their development).
Q I’ve heard about protection orders. What are they? A domestic violence protection order is a civil order made by a court that imposes conditions to protect a person from future domestic violence. A domestic violence order can either be a protection order or a temporary protection order. A protection order is a final long term order that a person must not commit domestic violence against any person named in the order. The court can also impose other conditions in the order, for example, staying away from the abused person’s home or workplace. If the abuser breaches the conditions of the order, they can be fined or jailed. More information on protection orders can be found here: http://www.courts.qld.gov.au/courts/magistrates-court/domestic-and-family-violence
Q I feel like I’m the only person in my grade who hasn’t had sex yet. Is this true? No. There are lots of people in your grade who have not had sex yet. It may seem like everyone is talking about sex but this doesn’t mean that everyone has had sex.   It can be really easy to compare yourself to other people or what you think other people may be doing. However the most important thing to think about is where you’re at and what you’re ready for in your relationship.
Q What can you do about domestic violence if you’re told to keep it a secret? Having to keep a secret like that is really hard, particularly if it’s in your family, or if you’re concerned about the safety and wellbeing of another person.  Sometimes, but certainly not always, talking about the violence can make it worse if you’re given the wrong advice or if the person you talk to tells the wrong people at the wrong time. However, it is really important that you talk to someone who you can trust and who will be able to help you know what to do.  There are a number of people in school that you can talk to such as guidance officers/counsellors; there are also many community support services that specialise in domestic violence counselling.  For more information, check out our page on Intimate Partner Violence and how to support someone experiencing this.