Controversial ‘tell all’ teen sex exhibit headed to Kitchener
KITCHENER, Ontario, November 4, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) - An explicit sex exhibit aimed at children that raised eyebrows in Parliament when it was displayed at Ottawa’s Science and Technology Museum, is slated to open at the Kitchener museum in January, 2014.
“The Science of Sexuality is a timely addition to our community and aligns well with our local Sexual Health Youth Strategy,” said Dr. Liana Nolan, Commissioner of Health for the Region of Waterloo Public Health in an intro to the controversial exhibit on the Kitchener museum's website. “It brings science and research into a fun, interactive and practical way to teach our youth and parents about sexual health, relationships and respect.”
The exhibit, originally titled “Sex: A Tell-All Exhibition,” was created by Louise Bertrand at the Montreal Science Centre in 2010 and had a short stint in Regina before moving to Ottawa last year.
While the Montreal Museum opened the exhibit without restrictions to its intended audience - children 12 and older - in Ottawa, the museum required that youth under 16 be accompanied by an adult.
A video presentation of masturbation was removed from the Ottawa exhibit, but was reinstated in subsequent shows.
When the exhibit opened in Vancouver in August, the named was changed to "The Science of Sexuality."
Although the sex exhibition at Vancouver’s Science World museum didn't meet with the same opprobrium as it did in Ottawa, the ads for the show were banned from the city’s transit system after they were deemed too racy.
One of the banned ads shows a man straddling a woman in a hospital bed, her legs in casts. “Orgasms can kill pain,” the text read.
Another shows a box of tissue surrounded by used crumpled tissues. “Ejaculation Fights Colds,” the text read.
Critics of the exhibit have said that, despite its claims of being “scientific” and objective, it is disturbingly explicit and promotes an amoral vision of sexuality.
“This exhibit includes what can only be described as soft pornography, expressly designed for youth in the context of a museum,” wrote Dave Quist, executive director for the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada (IMFC) in an open letter to James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage when the graphic exhibition was in Ottawa.
“Based on a tour by our staff, the exhibition espouses a specific point of view including the approval and promotion of anal sex, multiple sexual partners and sex without emotional/marital commitment.”
“Minister Moore, I would respectfully ask that this exhibition be cancelled,” stated Quist.
The federal government did in fact say that the sex exhibit at Ottawa’s Museum of Science and Technology, which falls under the jurisdiction of the federal government’s Ministry of Canadian Heritage and receives about $30 million per year in funding from taxpayers, “cannot be defended.”
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Sébastien Gariépy, spokesman for Heritage Minister James Moore, told LifeSiteNews at the time that the exhibit clearly falls outside the museum’s mandate to “foster scientific and technological literacy throughout Canada.”
“This content cannot be defended, and is insulting to taxpayers,” he said. “We have expressed our strong concerns to the president of the Museum, and we encourage Canadians who are concerned to do the same.”
The Kitchener museum describes the exhibit as a response "to the main concerns of young people and the not-so-young alike. It's not shy. It's frank. It's respectful. It approaches sexuality in a positive manner."
"The Science of Sexuality, will be an ideal teaching opportunity as it provides a safe environment where students can learn about healthy sexuality, ask questions and receive direct, scientifically accurate answers," said Linda Fabi, the recently retired Director of Education for the Waterloo Region District School Board.
However, Barbara Kay of the National Post commented on the exhibit saying she has “no idea why this exhibition was thought to be necessary. Our children are bombarded by sexual content in their lives from a too-early age. Some of it is informative and appropriate; much of it is intrusive and unwholesome. The last thing students need is more sexual graphics, more full-frontal life-size nudity, another invitation to early experimentation.”
"The exhibition is not ideologically neutral, either," Kay pointed out. "Naturally the subject of unwanted pregnancy arises. Disturbingly, the option of keeping an unplanned-for child, or giving it up for adoption is not mentioned. The only advice given is to have an abortion as soon as possible."
“What the exhibition is actually about, of course, is normalization,” wrote Michael Coren when the exhibition appeared in Ottawa last year. “There are no barriers, no right and wrong, no absolutes, and no ‘normal’ in the brave new post-Kinsey world of sex studies and sexual freedom.”
“But it’s the campaign to accelerate the learning process, make public what should be private, eliminate notions of love and romance, assume that sex is morally neutral, and encourage children to act upon every any impulse and lust, that is so profoundly malicious.”
Frank Boutzis, President, Kitchener Museum Board of Directors
10 King Street West, Kitchener, ON N2G 1A3
Phone: (519) 749-9387
Fax: (519) 749-8612
Email: [email protected]
Mayor Carl Zehr, City of Kitchener
Kitchener City Hall
200 King Street West, 2nd Floor
Kitchener, ON N2G 4G7
Email: [email protected]