Pauline Hanson blasts ‘alphabet people’ in Senate spray

One Nation Senator Pauline Hanson in her office
Image: YouTube

One Nation and Liberal Senators have used a Senate debate over the book Welcome to Sex to attack the LGBTQIA+ community.

On Tuesday night, One Nation Senators Pauline Hanson and Malcolm Roberts spoke in the Senate to call for an inquiry into Australia’s classification system for publications.

In speeches, Hanson, Roberts, UAP Senator Ralph Babet and Liberal Senator Alex Antic targeted Welcome To Sex. The book is by Yumi Stynes and Melissa Kang, ex-Dolly Doctor writer and an associate professor in public health.

Welcome to Sex was first targeted by anti-LGBTQIA+ campaigners in June, before Australian media outlets amplified the outrage over its content a month later.

The row is the latest in a decades-long tradition of moral panics over sex-ed books from right-wing campaigners.

Experts have defended the book, retail workers have copped vile abuse from protesters, and book sales have boomed.

Senators claim Welcome to Sex is ‘filth’

But One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts told the Senate the book is “pornographic”. One Nation is demanding a “legally-binding MA15+ classification” for publications in Australia.

Colleague Pauline Hanson also called Welcome to Sex “a piece of filth”. She accused “alphabet people” of exposing children to “harmful material” and claimed those voting against One Nation’s motion to review the classification system were “sick puppies”.

“While those on the left have no problem exposing children to extremely harmful material, most Australians have a superior morality,” she said.

“I picked up the book and flicked through it. I saw the pages in it, ‘How to have anal sex’, and then you had two women having sex together also.

“This is just disgusting, the whole book.

“We need to address what is actually happening here with our children in this country. I’m sick and tired of the alphabet people that are pushing their own agendas on our children.

“What I’ll say to people here is: leave our children alone.”

Welcome to Sex is marketed as a “frank, age-appropriate introductory guide to sex and sexuality for teens of all genders.”

Actual experts in the field have argued the importance of the book and those like it.

University of Melbourne Gender Studies Researcher Dr Emma Whatman told ABC Radio that books like Welcome to Sex are a safer option for young people to learn about sex than freely accessible explicit pornography online.

“Books like this have actually been shown through quite in-depth research to be really informative and useful, and actually quite safe,” she said.

“If they don’t get [sex education] from material like this they will absolutely be getting it from their friends, or much more explicit content online.”

Liberal MP thinks books are turning people trans

Anti-trans Liberal Senator Alex Antic claims the books were “ostensibly trojan horses for radical gender theory dressed up as sex education for our kids.”

“These are not simple education manuals. They are books enclosing radical gender theory, and we need to have this review,” he said.

Senator Dean Smith told the Senate the Liberals would not oppose the One Nation motion.

Labor Senator Murray Watts said the Albanese government wouldn’t support it. Watts said a review of Australia’s classification system is already happening.

“Australians rely on classifications to make informed media choices, especially when it comes to what content to show their kids,” he said.

“But successive reviews have found that the classification system is long overdue for reform.

“In March this year, the government announced a two-stage process to reform the classification framework.

“The government will commence consultation later this year and welcomes the participation of all those interested in the classification scheme through that process.”

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia


  1. Louisa
    2 August 2023

    There we have it folks…

    Hanson screeches – “,leave our children alone.”

    … She is copying catch phrases out of the same fascist book, as far right Ron Deathsantis!

  2. Michael
    2 August 2023

    What THIS Sad excuse comes down to, is she is like the original “Karen”. Only ever got something devise or offensive to say or suggest into publicly discourse! Just HOW!? & WHERE have YOU Been any kind of sincere / genuine alternative, that advances Australia in any single area? You’ve only been a painful appendix, tediously & tortuously waiting to erupt your loud poisonous bile, ever since you first stood up to be taken seriously. Tragic many have been enough to keep you there!

  3. Peter Turner
    5 August 2023

    She’s just taken a “copy and paste” approach to the issue, quoting far right wing nut job propaganda from the MAGA Republicans in the US.
    Statistics show that open and honest factual sex education actually results in the delay of the young person’s first sexual experience and a reduction in their sexual partners.

    Of course she claims there is a hidden agenda but no amount of lies and misinformation will alter the fact that exposure to LGBTQI people or information will result in an altered sexuality.
    If it did then so many of us would now be straight after exposure to conversion therapy and religious hate speech.

    These people have probably never even read the book but are happy to jump on the hate train.

    All they’ve achieved is sky-rocketing book sales, so well done.

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