Family-oriented activists and groups were alarmed last fall when WND reported that officials were considering using in their schools a sexually-explicit “how to be promiscuous” guide that condemned traditional values and promoted homosexuality and abortion to young girls. Their alarm eventually defeated that education agenda.
But now the book is back.
While that wave of grass-roots reaction against the publication put those school plans on indefinite hold in 2006, the book now is returning, with an announcement from St. Stephen’s House Community Center in Toronto that the new edited and “corrected” version is available.
The original product was called “The Little Black Book – A Book on Healthy Sexuality Written by Grrrls (sic) for Grrrls.” But its inaccurate information, explicit language and frank promotion of lesbianism and condemnation of traditional lifestyles prompted concerns from leaders such as Joseph Ben-Ami, the executive director of the Institute for Canadian Values.
He told WND at the time that it was urgent to find a way to prevent such information from being imposed on children in public schools, as the publication was being considered for use in Canada’s school districts. “People don’t know this is happening,” he said.
But the consumers had their say, and “to the best of our knowledge there is no jurisdiction that has decided to use this book as a resource or adopt it as curriculum,” Ben-Ami said yesterday. “There was so much of an outcry over this that the various governments that were considering it, basically decided to stay away.”
However, he noted that now the “tamer” version is making its way into public libraries and bookstores.
A spokeswoman for St. Stephen’s House told WND that the new version is published by Annick Press and underwent considerable revision, including a verification process to assure the accuracy of the information provided in the book, something that was left out of the process in the first publication.
Ben-Ami said it still is a “sad thing” to see this type of product with its anti-traditional values perspectives being published, especially with government support, such as the estimated $8 million given to St. Stephen’s House by various branches of government.
“But on the whole we are pleased at the public mobilization, the grass-roots mobilization that precipitated the politicians and public officials deciding that it was wrong for them to be considering this,” Ben-Ami said.
St. Stephen’s House Community Center in Toronto promotes its “Little Black Book for Girlz”
Liane Regendanz, the executive director for St. Stephen’s House, told WND that the release of the new version, now called “Little Black Book for Girlz,” was allowed after it was “checked and additional resources added.”
She also said it was “assessed by medical experts for its accuracy.”
“[The] last version did not go through that process,” she confirmed.
That could be a reason why Ben-Ami, although certainly no fan of the new version, condemned the earlier publication as “a thinly veiled propaganda piece that undermines healthy parent-child relationships, substitutes voodoo myths for actual science, and provides advice that, if followed, will certainly result in real and serious harm to those who follow it.”
For example, the early version said “only 10% of the population is heterosexual – the rest being ‘mixed’ or bi-sexual,” but mentions no evidence. It also promotes homosexuality and labels parents “homophobes.” It also says most children are, too, until they learn better.
The publisher’s description of the new version still notes that it was written in 2002, after “eight young women shared an idea to create a book on healthy sexuality that would be honest, non-judgmental and encourage other young women to learn more about their bodies, their relationships and their sexuality.”
But the new version is “vetted by doctors and endorsed by health professionals…,” including a pediatrician from the Division of Adolescent Medicine at The Hospital for Sick Children, the publisher said.
While some of the offensive material may have been edited, it still is described as being for girls as young as age 14, even while it promotes the “Plan B abortion pill” on a page too explicit to be reproduced here. The new version also defines part of a healthy relationship as girls being able to decide for themselves (no input from parents is mentioned) when they are ready for sex, and “learning about yourself and growing with each other.”
The earlier version, also intended for young girls, included a section entitled, “My First Time F***ing a Girl!” Ben-Ami said. The newer version, while they’ve “backed away from quite a few things,” remains questionable, even though the publisher notes that it does not encourage girls to have sex “if they are not ready or interested in doing so.”
The earlier version took a swipe at anyone with a religious background or beliefs, including a comment that if “you need someone to represent God The Holiness, then for me, it’s a fat black dyke.” Ben-Ami also noted the original promoted the use of devices to reduce the risk of contracting disease and infection through sexual activity, but left out any “meaningful attempt” to warn about the failure rates.
Ben-Ami said that the book originally was being considered for use in public schools, because Canada legalized same-sex marriages, and school curricula that refers to man-and-woman couples now is being replaced.
Among the early version’s inclusions, reminding readers that it’s intended for young girls, was a mention of the 40th anniversary of the Barbie doll with the recommendation, “Have Barbie marry another Barbie,” or “Give her leather bondage gear, a whip and chains.”
It also listed “Fun alternatives to intercourse: Petting, Cyber sex, phone sex, kissing, making out, blowjob” and others.
The new version still includes explicit discussion of sex, pregnancy, AIDS, miscarriage and other topics on which parents may want to express an opinion with their 14-year-old daughters.
St. Stephen’s reports it was started by the Anglican Diocese in 1962, and “was” a Christian-based settlement house providing community services. It became “independent” in 1974.
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