On July 1st 2012 the Australian Family Association will host a public address by Miriam Grossman titled Sex Education â€“ Protecting Our Childrenâ€™s Health. Â The talk has been advertised in the Australian Jewish News.
Just so we know who we’re talking about here, the AFA is a right-wing group who think that marriage can only be between a man and a woman. Â It has the likes of Margaret Court as patron, and other ratbags including Shimon Cowen1
Shimon Cowen is chairing the meeting. Â Cowen earlier this year was widely criticised for his ‘paper‘ on homosexuality and bullying. Â His paper included this:
Â From a religious standpoint, if a person felt an overwhelming homosexual impulse of the deepest nature, that would be viewed with compassion but it would not constitute permission to indulge homosexual activity in practice. It is an abnormality, which as far as possible should be treated.
Miriam Gross is an AmericanÂ child and adolescent psychiatrist. Â She’s an ultra-orthodox JewÂ which no doubt has a huge impact on her profession and herÂ ideology. Â No doubt she’s an expert in her field. Â She does seem to be very keen on telling young people not to have sex. Â One of the things she says is that she treats lots of people for problems with having sex early in their lives. I’m not at all surprised that someone who offers counselling for adolescent children will see children with a wide range of problems, including sexual matters.
Miriam is going to give a public lecture, and just to make sure we’re paying attention she’s giving the talk in a state secondary school,Â Glen Eira College. Â That’s done as a way of adding some sort of credibility to the talk. Â The school community will know it’s on and they have plenty of victims to pick from. Â One of the major concerns you have as a parent is sex and what your kids are doing. Â It’s really easy for someone like the AFA to play on those concerns and make it look like they care.
The title of the talk is Sex Education Protecting our Children’s Well-being (that’s the title in the press ads). That says all the right things! Â What parent doesn’t want to protect their child’s well-being?
Grossman’s attitude towards sex education is very traditional and conservative. Â Her attitude no doubt is that children should never be told anything about sex, because they might go out and try it.
The AFA website says this:
She will provide you with critical health information and facts about sex that you can share with your teenagers. It is sound medical advice you will not have heard elsewhere.
Grossman also champions an online petition that says
We declare that sex education programs should encourage the ideal of delaying sexual activity until marriage as the only sure way to avoid sexually transmitted diseases, out-of-wedlock pregnancies, abortions, and a myriad of the other well-documented negative health consequences associated with premarital sex.
A clear indication that she thinks sex should not happen outside traditional marriage, ignoring the fact that very few people actually wait until they are married to have sex. Â Her approach is one of fear tactics and guilt.
Grossman also thinks homosexuality is wrong. Â Earlier this year she put her name to a letter in supportÂ for Lesley Pilkington, a psychotherapistÂ involved in among other things, unwanted homosexuality and therapy. Â In the letter that she supports is this paragraph:
Psychological care for those who are distressed by unwanted homosexual attractions has been shown to yield a range of beneficial client outcomes, especially in motivated clients. This is supported by recent empirical evidence from Byrd, Nicolosi, Shaeffer, Spitzer, Jones and Yarhouse. Such therapy does not produce harm despite the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych) and others maintaining the contrary. In this area, the RCPsych seems to be guided by the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Mental Health Special Interest Group, and could therefore be partial to one view
I’ve already blogged onthe work of Spitzer, and he has since recanted his research.
One of Grossman’s books is called “You’re Teaching My Child What?”. That’s a really good question, and one that should be asked of Grossman.
Her idea of sex education is abstinence. No sex outside marriage. Â Her idea is that children should not be told about homosexuality, transsexualityÂ or bisexuality. Â Children should not be encouraged to explore their bodies and understand how they work. Â Her talks are about instilling fear into children, that the best way to avoid any sexually transmitted disease is by not having sex with anyone but your married partner.
Her attitude is mostÂ definitelyÂ driven by religious dogma by both the christian and jewish traditions.
It has no place in modern Australia.
The school should deny her access to their premises and anyone promoting this talk should be told more precisely just what it’s about.
Grossman will peddle hatred and mistrust to unsuspecting parents.