Prince Edward Island sex guide promotes pedophilia, say critics

Colin MacLean
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Screenshot from Sun TV piece panning P.E.I.'s sex guide for parents.

REAL Women of Canada and Sun News Network pan provincial guide for parents

Prince Edward Island’s new parental guide to childhood sexual behaviour is being decried by Sun News Network and a national women’s organization as a “destructive” document that promotes pedophilia.

The guide was updated recently and is intended to provide parents with information to help determine whether their child’sbehaviour is normal and healthy, or a sign that something may be wrong.

A link to the guide can be found here.

Gwen Landolt, national vice-president of the REAL Women of Canada, provided comments about the guide in an online article written by Peter Baklinski published earlier this week.

A link to the article can be found here.

REAL Women of Canada is a non-denominational and independent advocacy group that espouses “traditional” family values.

Speaking about one particular section of the seven-page document, Landolt, said it is “a ‘diabolic attempt’ to make children ‘vulnerable to sexual activity’ and ‘acquiesce to sexual acts of adults.’”

The article was printed under the headline “PEI guide for parents: ‘healthy’ for kids to masturbate, touch genitals of ‘familiar adults.’”

Sun News Network, a national news service, then broadcast a TV spot Thursday night with two commentators, David Menzies and Faith Goldy, on the topic.

Both commentators suggested the provincial guide would leave children open to pedophiles and suggested the province was promoting criminal behaviour.

That segment can be viewed here.

“Little kids under five … they just don’t do that. They’re not that curious. The whole thing is offensive … and if these are ‘experts’ then heaven help us." Gwen Landolt, national vice-president of the REAL Women of Canada

The article and the TV spot mainly focus on a section of the seven-page guide that lists childhood sexual behaviour (preschool up to age five) in three categories for parents: natural and healthy; of concern; and seek professional help.

Under the column for behaviours that are natural and healthy, the guide lists “touches the ‘private parts’ of familiar adults and children with hand or body.”

Other examples of activities in that category include “play house, acts out roles of mommy and daddy,” “explores differences between males and females,” and “takes advantage of opportunity to look at nude people.” 

The document also gives various advice as to how parents should approach discussing sex and sexuality with their young children.

In an interview with TC Media, Landolt said that children in the age group described in the guide are too young to be concerned about sex and that sex education should be left up to parents who can determine when and if it is appropriate.

She also said advice laid out in the P.E.I. guide could leave children open to sexual exploitation.

She again referred to the section of the guide that says it’s normal for children to be curious about and may even want to touch male and female sexual body parts.

“Not a bit. Anybody who has any experience with children knows that’s absurd,” she said.

“Little kids under five … they just don’t do that. They’re not that curious. The whole thing is offensive … and if these are ‘experts’ then heaven help us,” she said.

No one with the province was available on Thursday to comment on this story. However, a spokesperson said a response would be given today.

Organizations: Sun TV, Sun News Network

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, Canada

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Recent comments

  • Statik
    November 20, 2013 - 07:24

    I have read the guide, more than once. Yes, I agree that some of the reaction is out of proportion however I have to disagree with the guide and its insistance that some of the behavior it says is normal is actually normal. As the parent of 5 children, I have seen quite a bit of 'normal' behavior and I have worked hard to create balanced children who have a healthy sexual outlook. Children who will respect their spouses, their spouses bodies, and their own. I can honestly say that if the province actually believes that a child under 5 touching the private areas of a trusted adult is normal behavior, they have either not sufficiently defined their terms or they are providing a pedofilic gateway. Children under 5 might touch their mother's breast occasionally, considering they were recently breastfed, and they might stand or lean on an adult groin. Anything more than that is not normal. If you, as the parent, are wandering around the house nude, yes, it would be normal for a child to be curious about the genitals, but I don't think it is normal, nor wise, to wander about nude. Modesty is healthy as it encourages viewing the opposite gender for their personal qualities, not their physical. I think it is right to blow the whistle on such a publication and insist on better from our governemnts.

  • Paulette Boyd
    November 19, 2013 - 18:49

    one thought only WHERE DID ALL THE INFO COME FROM IN THE BOOKLET FOR PARENTS

  • Paulette Boyd
    November 19, 2013 - 11:57

    N.B. sex ed has been in question for years not enough parents spoke up and this is where it has come SPEAK LOUD Be sure and check out the people who have put this together Thiswill not go away unless parents take action

  • marsh
    November 17, 2013 - 07:53

    Well, what the experts will tell you is that, children are sexual, just like they are everything else, yet on a childlike level. Children are 'little adults'. Children aren't the opposite of sexuality? The idea that sexuality is unnatural for children on a certain level is a feminist one. The experts say that if a child is made to feel shameful or wrong regarding their sexual thoughts they will develop libido-fixations. In other world, teaching children that sex is wrong, or that their sexual thoughts are bad or negative will lead to coping mechanisms in attempts to replace sexual thoughts(eating disorders, obsessions with violence, drug abuse, rebounding sexual obsession, sexual fetishes etc.). The real question is, "why do feminist groups like this want to moralize sex into something sacred or shameful or unnatural?" What do feminists have to gain from such a society? Is the feminist missions to redefine sexuality worth risking people's mental health?

  • Bob Macdonald
    November 16, 2013 - 19:34

    I also notice the Highways Minister Robert Vessey on TV telling people to pump their brakes if they hit ice in the winter. Unfortunately for some people with anti-lock brakes this advice might get them killed. opps - maybe the government shouldn't be trying to advise people on anything!

  • Piet Hein
    November 16, 2013 - 17:25

    I ket a real kick out of the commenters who are ranting and raving against this publication. They all fall into the category of "I don't know what I am talking about, but here is my opinion anyway." It is obvious that they did not read the thing and if they did, they did not understand it. By the way, right wingers like Real Women and Sun Media and I might add PM Harper and former MP Vic Toews are very fond of blaming certain people for being pedophiles or t least supporting pedophiles. People who would put any credence in what Sun Media and Real Women say need a large dose of the smarts.

  • MEJ
    November 16, 2013 - 10:17

    People!!!! Wake up!!! When you see anything from Sun News, just think about the black cart...because thats where sun news belongs. READ the document for goodness sakes. Pedophiles...really??? I have taught my daughter the difference between boys and girls years ago, and I am no pedophile. Is PEI really full of such bone heads that they would believe everything in print before actually researching!!! It infuriates me when I hear fathers are afraid to change their baby girls diapers for fear of social stigmas being cast upon them....Rant over!

  • Westcoast Islander
    November 16, 2013 - 09:33

    I didn't read the guide and I don't plan to. I grew up on a farm with a scientist mother, I knew by the age of 5 what sex was and all about the 'private' parts of a human. Parents just need to be open about sex and curriousity and be supportive if their child comes to them with any question. I do not believe that little children should ever talk about their body parts with anyone other then their father or mother and only in a completely non-sexual maner. This is the best way for these children to be able to make the right choices later on. Teach about birthcontrol and keeping yourself safe. People need to calm down and raise their children the way they want to and let other raise their children the way they see fit.

    • AD
      November 16, 2013 - 13:10

      This isn't about sexual education; it's about helping parents understand when the child's sexual curiosity or behaviour is normal and when it raises concern or alarm bells.

    • AD
      November 16, 2013 - 13:11

      This isn't about sexual education; it's about helping parents understand when the child's sexual curiosity or behaviour is normal and when it raises concern or alarm bells.

  • Dane
    November 16, 2013 - 06:39

    OK. I went through the guide and can honestly say that Sun News is way out of line. When I was growing up in the 80s, I did a lot of what falls under healthy sexual behavior and would always go to my parents or older brother (not necessarily a good idea!). However, in our current culture where everything has become über-sexualized, I think that such a guide is necessary because some people have no clue as to what constitutes normal and healthy sexual expression.

  • Dave Campbell
    November 15, 2013 - 23:35

    This is a sick piece of information. Opens the door wide for pedophilia. There are experts on PEI but our Government has managed to hunt down some strange information. Wake up Robert you have young children. Would you be happy seeing your children playing DR. with a familiar adult? You have robbed Child Protection of needed staff and now it appears your government condones child abuse.

    • WhyNot
      November 16, 2013 - 08:33

      Why don't you just admit you didn't read the guide and you are just trying to make a political hit? Your comment is ridiculous and makes it clear you are just taking your talking points from Sun news without trying to educate yourself.

    • Just sayin
      November 16, 2013 - 08:39

      You have either not read the document or are certainly unfit to be a parent.

  • FWOC - Fake Women of Canada?
    November 15, 2013 - 21:12

    Well, if REAL Women of Canada and Sun News team together to say it's so, it must be so.

  • Amy
    November 15, 2013 - 17:01

    I cannot begin to describe the feeling i got when i read this and saw the news broadcast . I am Absolutely Appauled and disgusted . THIS IS AN ABSOLUTE EMBARRSSMENT TO PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND ! how can any human being with children even consider that this is appropriate guide for parents . R U &€>¥!? kidding me ? THIS IS WRONG !!!!!! and u know dam well it is !!!! GET UR HEAD OUTTA UR REARS !!

    • Trillium
      November 15, 2013 - 18:15

      Uh. The pamphlet is actually very true and very correct. If you had any knowledge in how psychology works, you would understand this. But when you can't spell "you" fully...

    • Ignorance Is Bliss
      November 15, 2013 - 19:06

      Instead of throwing a hissy fit READ THE DOCUMENT. Why join the ranks of the ignorant and the low information sun news watchers instead of just doing a little fundamental homework? The ignorance here is depressing.

  • johnthames
    November 15, 2013 - 16:01

    All you need to know is that REAL WOMEN and SUN Media are the only ones complaining here folks. Both organizations are deeply and irrationally conservative and have ties to the Harper Conservative Party.

  • Scott
    November 15, 2013 - 14:58

    I saw The Sun newscast of this posted on Facebook today. I was appalled that somebody I knew would post this trash disgracing our province. And so many others are so willing to jump on the bandwagon and believe and share this info without reading the actual guide. I read the guide, and it was fine. The Sun totally distorted the info and took everything into the wrong twisted context. I encourage everyone to read the guide, you can find it on the internet. Also considering tourism is a huge industry, I encourage the PEI Government to sue The Sun for whatever it takes to shut them down, as well, everybody else in Canada should boycott any publication "The Sun" orientated. What a trashy establishment!

  • Michael
    November 15, 2013 - 14:55

    This is an embarrassment of what I hesitate to call "journalism." It is as if critical thinking is an alien concept to the poor person who wrote this article. Honestly, read the pamphlet if you have a chance. You should see that this whole thing has been incredibly misinterpreted.

  • pei
    November 15, 2013 - 14:46

    You guys are completly crazy. I have read that guide and how any one can think that is normal behaviour is beyond me. How all you people say read the pamplet and it is ok need to look at that book again. Terrible and disgusting.

    • TelltheTruth
      November 15, 2013 - 16:37

      Tell the truth. You did not read the pamphlet nor are you capable of it. If you were you wouldn't be talking such nonsense. I HOPE you are not a parent. Please never become one.

  • Trillium
    November 15, 2013 - 14:11

    Shame on you, Guardian, for regurgitating such misinformation. Please find better things to report on then the washed up news reports of a TABLOID news station.

  • Jody
    November 15, 2013 - 13:24

    I'm incredibly disappointed that the Guardian chose to run the story in this manner instead of defending it's province and providing the truth about this pamphlet. Anyone who actually reads it will realize that the Sun News story is complete garbage and slander :(

  • Pete
    November 15, 2013 - 12:33

    No wonder Sun News is losing $17 million annually as advertisers stay away because of the network's credibility issues. And it is garbage like this that hurts their credibility. Rather than accept the spoonfed viewpoint of a news organization with severe credibility issues, I hope people will take the time to actually read the guide before they pass judgement.

  • Islander
    November 15, 2013 - 12:20

    REAL Women is a hate group and Sun news is a joke. Did the Guardian bother to get any information from childhood development experts ( who were probably heavily involved in creating this guide)? No. Waste of an article.

    • richardson mcphillips
      November 15, 2013 - 15:28

      "Hate group"? If English is your second language you should check with a native English speaker to find out what words mean, before you use them.

    • HateGroup
      November 15, 2013 - 19:11

      Perhaps you are the one who needs to become literate Ms. mcphillips.. These right wing nutjob groups are ruining Canada and the drooling sun/fox news bunch are like lemmings going off the cliff.

    • Islander
      November 15, 2013 - 20:56

      From wikipedia: REAL Women of Canada denounces the equal rights clause in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms , oppose laws guaranteeing equal pay for women, oppose include programs to reduce family violence, oppose human rights protections for gays and lesbians, and has heavily criticized individuals who have spoken out against Uganda's proposed policy of executing gays and lesbians.

  • Speaking from both sides of their mouth
    November 15, 2013 - 12:07

    Right wingers and religious nuts are havinga field day with this...when in reality ..if read thru... the guide explains very normal sexual growth activity.All humans do it.......but if you ask the people who are giving it a thumbs down ..they will deny that,they are just to embarassed and see it as abnormal....and promoting pedophila!! How stupid and ignorant on their part.The guide is excellent.....time for the opponents to come out of the dark ages......your embarassing yourselves

  • Jack
    November 15, 2013 - 11:51

    Not surprised, More great publicity for PEI. Then we wonder why no one wants to live here. hmm, next thing you know they will be finding cell phones in the women's bathroom at the Charlottetown Mall.

    • Really
      November 15, 2013 - 13:19

      Maybe you should read the pamphlet Jack. Then you would realize that the Sun News story is a complete unthruth and that it was nothing more than slander.

    • huh
      November 15, 2013 - 15:59

      "Jack" and those like him read little more than the headline. They just pop online, spew their foolishness, and move on. He would have read neither the Sun article nor the pamphlet. The online comment section is the only forum where their views see the light of day.

  • Elle Joraco
    November 15, 2013 - 11:34

    I'm amazed at all the people talking about this handbook without ACTUALLY reading it. It's stating facts that have been taught for years and advising people not to traumatize your children by freaking out and shaming them for having natural curiosity. It advises parents to talk to their children about certain actions. Parents need to teach children that "private parts" are private. The problem is parents don't teach that, children, out of natural curiosity will touch other people, and then parents freak out and traumatize their children psychologically and sexually. "“Little kids under five … they just don’t do that. They’re not that curious. The whole thing is offensive … and if these are ‘experts’ then heaven help us,” Anyone who has extensive experience with children knows that most children have natural curiosity and explore new things- be it themselves or new things they've come in contact with in the world. I wonder about the approaches the parents are using to shame and punish their children if their children, who are under the age of 5, are terrified of doing anything. The handbook emphasizes that there may be a problem if the child has repeatedly been told something is not appropriate and does it anyway.

  • fed up
    November 15, 2013 - 10:58

    Who does the research on these studies? The fact the deputy minister of education in Ontario has recently been charged should open the eyes of everyone . Parent can't follow blindly all these recommendations with out questions.!

  • Sarah
    November 15, 2013 - 10:44

    When I first read this I was shocked. Until I decided to actually read the guide and look into it more. I feel as though people are taking this guide out of context. It is my understanding that this is a guide to assist parents in identifying behaviours to be concerned about. Children are curious of the human body and it highlights what behaviours need to be adressed. I think people need to read the guide before jumping to conclusions. I think it was taken out of context.

  • Dundas Sue
    November 15, 2013 - 10:32

    Seems to me to be balanced and places the decisions a bout what is too much with the parents - Sun has taken these things our of context. Why the Guardian printed this insetead of seeking a professional critique on their, or a parent's opinion, is just bad and lazy journalism.

  • WHAT!?!?!?
    November 15, 2013 - 10:11

    You have got to be kidding me!!! Who wrote this 'sex guide for kids'??? A team of pedophiles?? That's frigging disgusting, crackheads in Toronto and sexed up kids in PEI. Our country is really going to S#!T.

    • Townie
      November 15, 2013 - 11:42

      Read it first, then come back and comment on it. Sun took it out of context to make a story out of it for ratings.

    • Good grief
      November 15, 2013 - 16:26

      What???? Now we have an employee from a rag tabloid newspaper commenting on their own story.

  • Kopple
    November 15, 2013 - 10:05

    SHAME on the Guardian for even repeating this garbage. Shame, shame, shame!

  • Really?
    November 15, 2013 - 09:59

    Why would the Guardian even consider running this story? This sort of fear mongering is a daily occurrence on Sun news. Anyone who reads the document in it's original context can clearly see that the behaviour outlined in it are very normal and that Sun is blowing things out of proportion to suit their narrative. SNN is not a legitimate news outlet and running stories like this only give them an unwarranted sense of importance.

  • Townie
    November 15, 2013 - 09:57

    The very next line in that document says "It is of concern if the child Touches/rubs the “private parts” of familiar children or adults after they have been told consistently not to do so " Sun news has taken this out of context and sensationalized it.

  • WTF
    November 15, 2013 - 09:56

    Some of the behaviour listed in the pamphlet is obviously normal, but some of what is listed isn't just bad advice, it's criminal. These should be recalled immediately!

    • Feel Free
      November 15, 2013 - 11:24

      Feel free to list the parts that are bad advice or criminal. After you read it of course because like most of the uniformed comments out of this you clearly haven't read it yet. Anyone who believes anything from Fox (aka Sun) news or from right wing organization that pretends to help women cannot be taken seriously.