Three books on child sex education will remain on the shelves of a public library in southern Manitoba, after a group of residents filed a complaint alleging that the books were sexually explicit and encouraged children to engage in sexual activity.
Winkler, Mann, a resident, said at a meeting last week of the Board of Directors of the South Central Regional Library, which has a branch in Winkler.
It’s totally normal Written by Robbie H. Harris What makes a child by Corey Silverberg and sex is a funny wordalso by Silverberg, temporarily removed from shelves while committee reviews it.
Banman, who is running for school trustee in Winkler in the October civilian election, declined CBC’s request for an interview, but filed a statement on behalf of the delegation that filed the complaint.
The statement claimed that the contents of the books fit the criminal law definition of pornography. None of the books contain pornographic images, but some contain illustrations of the internal reproductive organs, genitals, and childbirth.
“These books and many other material not included in the show have been classified as ‘sexual counseling’ for children,” the statement read, indicating that the age of majority in Canada is 16.
“Why should children under the age of 16 get sexual counseling when it is illegal for them to have sex?” asks the delegation in his statement.
The Criminal Code makes no mention of the term “sexual counseling”.
Sex helps prevent abuse: Researcher
Community health researcher and consultant in Winnipeg, Jared Starr, is familiar with all of the books mentioned in the complaint, and says they are not educational. Instead, they provide readers with information to help them make safe and healthy choices if they decide to be sexually active, he says.
“Young men will have sex… [and] We need to make sure that young people understand how to engage in sexuality in safer ways that are satisfying and appropriate.”
He also said that in many cases, these types of books are the first time children’s identity and sexual orientation have been validated.
“If young people read stories about heterosexual couples and traditional nuclear families throughout their education, they may not see themselves as actors…and may not see a healthy representation of stories that normalize who they are.”
In the complaint to the library’s board of directors, Banman points to concerns that the books prepare children for sexual abuse.
But Starr says the reality is the opposite: Access to comprehensive and accurate sex reduces the risk of sexual assault.
When children understand boundaries and consent and how their bodies work, he said, they are able to recognize inappropriate behavior.
“They are also able to tell a trusted adult because they have language to use. They know which parts of the body people shouldn’t touch.”
Dishonest complaints, factually incorrect: the author
The author of two books cited by the delegation says that some parents “do not believe that children should learn the basics of sex education”.
“They don’t think kids should be taught about sex, and for some reason they don’t want kids to have information that keeps them safe,” said Corey Silverberg, who uses their pronouns.
What surprises them, Severberg said, is that Banmann’s claims are factually incorrect.
“They say our books teach children how to have sex, and that they consider pornography.”
What makes a child Silverberg wrote for an audience of about four years old, and did not mention intercourse on purpose. their other book, sex is a funny word, Written for an older audience, it talks about sex, boundaries, touch, and consent.
“There is one comic [and] The page that talks about masturbation because at this age it is a common thing. “But there are no instructions,” Silverberg said.
The Canadian author respects that their books are not for everyone, and that there are other ways families may choose to educate their children about sexuality. But Silverberg believes the complainants are using the review process dishonestly.
“If someone says, ‘I don’t like this book because this book says it’s OK to be gay’… that’s OK, you can just say it. But they don’t. They say, ‘This book is pornography.'” “
At Willow Press, an independent bookstore in Winnipeg, an entire bookshelf is dedicated to books like Silverbeg. Store owner Megan Malcolm sees firsthand the positive impact of sex books.
“Some people get really emotional about it,” said Malcolm. “They’re like, ‘I wish there were books like this for me when I was a kid.'”
Clients don’t always buy books to read to children, but to educate themselves on how to guide conversations about sexual health and sexuality.
“We have a lot of parents, like, ‘Because I didn’t learn this, I have no idea how to talk about it. “They’ll come get the books and read them themselves,” said Malcolm.
The South Central Regional Library has completed its revision, and the three books will remain on the shelves of the Winkler Library. a book, It is completely normal, He was transferred from the juvenile department to the youth department.
The group at Winkler did not respond to CBC’s request for comment on the decision.
Watch | Residents of Winkler demand public library removal of children’s sex books: