Culture Wars in South Australia: the sex education debates
Peppard, Judith Louise
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School sexuality education has been a component of Australia's successful and internationally recognised HIV/AIDS strategy since the 1980s and has been well accepted in the community. However South Australia is experiencing a re-emergence of opposition to school sexuality education orchestrated by groups associated with the United States-based Christian Right. In this paper I will outline sex education policy developments in Australia and the United States as a framework for discussing the controversy generated around the Sexual Health and Relationships Education (SHARE) program in South Australia in 2003. In doing so I give attention to the similarities between the strategies deployed by the opponents of SHARE and those used to install abstinence-only-until-marriage sex education as a national policy in the United States. I will argue that, rather than a phenomenon indigenous to South Australia, these debates are part of an international movement to progress the political goals of the Christian Right.