Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard
Tony Abbott said he wasn't intending to offer sexual counselling to the nation by asking men not to act in ways that "demean others" and telling women not to "give themselves away lightly". But Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard said his remarks confirm women's "worst fears" about the Opposition Leader.
Mr Abbott spoke to 3AW ahead of the publication of an interview with The Australian Women's Weekly and said politicians today were asked questions they would not have been a generation ago and people then "tut-tutted about the answers."
Asked if women should keep themselves for marriage, Mr Abbott conceded his own advice to his daughters was clear. "They shouldn't give themselves away lightly. I was asked what would I say to my daughter," he said.
Ms Gillard responded to his comments on the ABC: "These comments will confirm the worst fears of Australian women about Tony Abbott.".
"Australian women want to make their own choices and they don't want to be lectured to by Mr Abbott."
Mr Abbott had said: "I think all of us should act in ways that value ourselves. I am trying not to be a prescriptive here, I am trying hard not to be preacher. In the end these are all very personal things. But if someone asks my advice I would say don't do anything that you will live to regret if you can possibly help it. Try and behave in ways which a self respecting person would act."
"When I start to get on my high horse and say don't do this or don't do that they said, `Well, Dad you did all of those things', and of course they are right, I did."
Asked if his advice was the same to young men, he said it was "much the same".
Tony Abbott's daughters knock him off sex 'high horse' (The Australian)
Abbott lecturing women about virginity: Gillard (ABC)