VANCOUVER, B.C., August 23, 2013 ( – Ads for a sex exhibition at Vancouver’s Science World, directed towards 12-year-old children, were banned from the city’s transit system after they were deemed too racy last week. But a look at The Science of Sexuality exhibition itself reveals that the ads are just the tip of the iceberg.


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 reads.

Another shows a box of tissue surrounded by used crumpled tissues. “Ejaculation Fights Colds,” the text reads.

Bryan Tisdall, president and CEO of Science World at Telus World of Science, told the National Post that the reaction surprised him. “We are always walking that picket fence between being bland and being outrageous,” he said. “[But] we had thought these ads were quite within the realm of acceptability.”


Public transit officials deemed the suggestive ads too racy, but the exhibition itself, running until September 2, leaves nothing to the imagination.

Young people 12 and older are promised an experience of sexuality “in a positive light”. Children learn about sex through animated videos, interactive games, personal accounts, and explanatory texts.

They learn that puberty prepares them for “shared sexual pleasure”. Homosexual and bisexual people relate through videos how they “became aware of their sexual orientation.”

With “fun gadgets”, children “discover the biology of a caress, the mechanism of an erection, the role of fantasies and other phenomena related to arousal and sexual pleasure.”

The “Erecto-matic” (erection simulator) machine allows children to observe what causes the “hardening of the clitoris and penis during sexual arousal”.

A colourful multimedia presentation spotlights adult sexual climax, teaching children “excitement, plateau, orgasm and resolution” as the “four phases of sex”.

The exhibition includes numerous images of naked people of various ages. Masturbation is presented in a short animation.

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A school trip to the exhibit includes a student activity book, an activities answer guide, and a post-visit activity book. The student activity book is created by Qmunity, a homosexual activist organization that calls itself “B.C.’s queer resource centre”. Online resources listed inside the student book include Options for Sexual Health, a Canadian partner of the International Planned Parenthood Federation.

Science World rejects the idea that the exhibit will encourage children to have sex.

“The exhibition informs visitors and helps them understand the issues surrounding sexuality so they  can make enlightened and responsible decisions. The exhibition is designed to present information in a scientific, fun and thoughtful manner,” the FAQ states.

But critics beg to differ.

“What the exhibition is actually about, of course, is normalization,” wrote Michael Coren when the same 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.”

“I’m getting sick of seeing all this,” said Brian Lilley of Sun News on his show ByLine.

“Our society, our culture, is pushing the envelope more and more and more. We are sexualizing children at and younger and younger age,” he said. “The result? Higher, not lower, rates of sexually transmitted disease.”

Coren said that organizers of such sex exhibitions act as if children are unaware of their own sexuality and the realities of sex, despite being saturated by explicit sex-ed in schools.

“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.”

For Lilley there is only one course of action.

“We need to fight back. We need to be saying, ‘No more.’”


Bryan Tisdall, President & CEO
TELUS World of Science
1455 Quebec Street
Vancouver, BC  V6A 3Z7
Phone: 604.443.7440
E-mail: [email protected]