Friday September 3, 2010

Sex Toys on Display at the World Youth Conference

By Terrence McKeegan, J.D.

LEON, MEXICO, Sept. 3, 2010 (C-FAM) – Last week at the World Youth Conference, organized primarily by the Mexican government and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the main event for most of the estimated 5000 “participants” was the Interactive Global Forum, a massive expo with hundreds of booths and exhibits. A tour of the booths revealed what passes for “age-appropriate” sexual education in some UN circles.

Because the venue for the World Youth Conference had considerably more exhibit space than most UN conferences, it was a unique opportunity for organizations focusing on youth to put their best face forward. But in the expo hall, there were dozens of booths with pornographic or sexually explicit materials or presentations.

At the International Planned Parenthood Federation (the largest provider of abortion services in the world) booth, their table featured the sexually explicit brochure: “Healthy, Happy, and Hot”, which garnered headlines last March due to its distribution at a Girl Scouts side event at the UN Commission on the Status of Women.

At a booth by an organization named “RECREA,” there was a table with a bowl of condoms and a wooden phallus. The walls of the exhibit booth were covered with pornographic and sexually suggestive photos. Nearby there were two glass cases featuring rubber models of male and female genitalia, as well as a bright assortment of condoms.

At the Fundacion Collectivo de Mujeres Jovenes booth, which was staffed by two middle-aged men, the presentation largely consisted of a collection of thong underwear hung up around the booth, as well as a “snakes and ladders” floor game with puffy dice.

The Quilombolas e Gays organization booth was unmanned, but included several official UNAIDS posters. One poster proclaimed, “Create a world… with access to comprehensive sexuality education. A world where health services are always available and affordable. Where all young people have access to condoms. Where confidentiality is respected. Where young people are celebrated for who they are.”

Other highlights of the expo included a live demonstration showing how to put a condom onto a phallus, an organization whose only “literature” consisted of pornographic post cards, and a booth with a large Twister-like floor pad, with cartoonish depictions of human genitals replacing the familiar colored circles of the classic game.

The scene described here was documented at the same time that the First Lady of Mexico toured the expo, guided by Purnima Mane, the Deputy Executive Director of UNFPA. A UNFPA conference dispatch stated that “reallocating existing resources, especially those spent on ineffective programmes such as ‘get tough’ policies against violence, and ‘abstinence only’ programmes against teenage pregnancy, can provide enough funds to make a positive impact.” The dispatch also recommended that UNFPA, “[shift] investment from its current emphasis on the age-groups 25-60 and those 61 and older to a much stronger emphasis on those between 6 and 17 years of age, and also those between 18 and 24.”

This article reprinted with permission from

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