Expert Called an 'Idiot' for Saying Parents Should 'Get Consent' Before Changing Diapers

deanne carson permission to change baby's diapers
ABC News

More and more recently, parents have been introducing the concept of consent to their kids at early ages, whether that means making them ask permission before they hug one another or even refraining from posting certain photos of them on social media. For the most part, these ideas haven't gotten much pushback. But after an Australian sex education expert suggested that parents should get their babies' consent before changing their diapers, she's receiving a ton of outrage from fed-up parents. 

  • Deanne Carson appeared on Australia's ABC News to offer her perspective on a high-profile sexual assault case and talk about consent.

    The self-proclaimed "sexuality educator" works with Body Safety Australia, an organization that works to prevent child abuse by "empowering children with their rights' while educating families and professionals," according to its website. 

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  • During her interview, Carson said she works with parents and their infants to help "establish a culture of consent" in their homes. 

    Apparently, the "lessons" she teaches go as far as encouraging parents to get consent before routine diaper changes. Carson explained that parents should look their babies in the eyes and say, "I'm going to change your nappy now, is that OK?" She added, "Of course a baby's not going to respond 'yes mum, that's awesome, I'd love to have my nappy changed.' But if you leave a space and wait for body language and wait to make eye contact then you're letting that child know that their response matters."

  • Carson didn't say anything negative about parents who don't ask permission, but people were really mad anyway.

  • A few people pointed out that, by the expert's logic, not getting a babies' consent to change their diapers could be viewed as actual child abuse. 

  • Many agreed that it was important to teach kids consent, but said that this was taking things too far.

  • Some even said that she was making a mockery of survivors by equating nonconsensual diaper changing with sexual assault. 

  • There were a couple of people who stood up for Carson, though, leaving her comments on social media thanking her for her work. 

    Newsweek spoke with Katie Russell from the Rape Crisis England and Wales organization, who said that she believed Carson's message was seriously misinterpreted. "She's simply making the very reasonable case for establishing a 'culture of consent' in households and with children from the youngest possible age," she said. "This is about both getting parents and carers into positive habits of not assuming consent from their children and about teaching children that they have a right to decide what happens to their bodies."

    Carson's comments may be a little "out there," but the meaning behind them definitely isn't. It's totally fine if parents don't believe that it's necessary to ask their babies for consent when it comes to something as necessary as diaper changes, but we can all recognize that consent overall is incredibly important, and the woman shouldn't be called "idiotic" for suggesting that parents make it a common thing in their households. 


safety poop & diapers