Children as young as six are watching internet porn, with one group linking the behaviour to sexual assaults in schools.

Centre Against Sexual Violence counsellor Kate McCormick said there appeared to be “a lot of sexual assault” occurring within the school environment.

“This has been linked back to early exposure to pornography,” she said.

“From the age of six, some kids are accessing pornography online and that becomes their norm of how to treat people and how to do relationships.

“And of course when they become teenagers or start puberty, part of their experiment, what they think is OK, there’s no boundaries around that – so you find them crossing over the line at school and sexual assault happening behind the toilet block, in the bush beside school, and quite serious sexual assaults.”

Sex education is not compulsory in Queensland state schools, although schools have the option to teach it within the curriculum, with some hiring external providers.

Ms McCormick, who spoke at a parliamentary inquiry into improving respectful relationships and sex education in relation to technology in Queensland state schools, said consent and anti-violence messages should start at a young age.

She said victims could have nude photos of themselves circulated around their schools and as a result suffer poor grades, self-harming and suicide attempts.

– Felicity Caldwell

Read More: Children as Young as 6 Years Old are Watching Porn Online

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