Libraries say children’s books on masturbation will stay on shelves

This article cites explicit references to sex.

A book for 7- to 12-year-olds that teaches kids about masturbation and affirms gender dysphoria was recently endorsed by an Arkansas board of public librarians after local parents questioned its place on the bookshelf .

“Sex is a Funny Word” by Cory Silverberg and Fiona Smyth includes images of a child stroking herself in a bathtub and affirmations of gender dysphoria, all aimed at prepubescent children. A children’s library reviewer described the book in 2016 as a “trans-inclusive education book.”

The book, which won the top award from a gay campaign group, “follows four 8-10 year olds, including genderqueer Zai, as they learn and explore this weird and interesting word – sex.” “Having a penis is not about making What makes you a boy. Having a vulva is not what makes you a girl. It’s more fun than that!” the book tells the children.

An Aug. 29 letter to patrons from Rogers Librarian Hannah Norris Milligan was obtained by the Federalists on Aug. 29, after a patron of the book last month Following the complaint, the Rogers Public Library convened a committee of six librarians. The majority of this library committee decided to keep the book in the children’s section of the library, where children of any age can find it on the shelves.

Public documents obtained show that Norris Milligan sat on the library’s six-person review committee for the book, which recommended that it remain on the library’s shelves”[f]Or families who wish to use diversity and inclusion resources to discuss these sensitive topics with their children. “

“This work has great value”

“There is great value in this work,” Rogers Children’s Librarian Christine Jones wrote in her response to the book challenge. “This is an excellent book for sex education for children entering or entering adolescence. One of the things that makes this book special is that it covers many different types of children: children without parents, children with disabilities, children who are not Children who consider themselves boys or girls, to name a few.”

Jones recommends this book on the library’s children’s nonfiction shelf for children ages 8 to 12 whose parents think they’re ready to read.

According to a challenge committee document, a March 2016 review of the book by the School Library Journal said: “What makes this book special is its introduction of topics such as transgender identities, intersex conditions, and masturbation.”

Rogers Librarian Lesley Knieriem enthusiastically endorsed the book in his response to the review committee: “In a society bombarded with highly gender-appropriate messages in advertising, popular entertainment and politics, when family members sexualize children Predation and religious leaders are on the news every night, and when suicide is the leading cause of death for transgender youth, a message of acceptance, hope, encouragement and self-love can actually save lives,” she wrote.

Knieriem recommends this book for children aged 7-12 as a document in her handwriting and signature.

“Sometimes people may feel so ‘uncomfortable or angry’ that they have grossly misread the book and misrepresented its content,” she also wrote in the comments. “While the book explicitly and repeatedly encourages children to understand their bodies and feel comfortable, these people may wrongly accuse the book of doing the opposite, especially those that are meaningful and scientifically necessary between ‘biological sex’ Distinguish between someone who doesn’t understand or is confused and ‘gender,’ or doesn’t know that science shows that puberty can begin at age seven, while gender awareness begins at age three.”

“I can’t think of any work that has this unique and priceless virtue,” concludes Knieriem.

Only one review board member expressed doubts about the book’s suitability for the library’s children’s collection. Evan Day, director of Rogers Youth Libraries, wrote: “This book describes the sexuality of children aged 7-12 with perspectives that conflict with the values ​​of much of our community, but also fits with perspectives that many also believe. If we’re going to start removing titles based on that, I’m not sure we’ll be able to align with the rest of the collection. I think libraries need to err on the side of the broad selection, not take sides.”

Day also commented: “I don’t know what the explicit ‘boundary’ is in sexual content for ages 7-12, but there are at least a few places that seem to contend with it: talking about owning books I don’t usually get from books geared towards this age group. expect your anus to be touched (p. 66). Masturbation sections are similar (p. 109-111).”

Public funding for sex talk with children

Rogers, Arkansas is a small town in northwest Arkansas with approximately 71,000 residents in a growing area of ​​the state. Rogers is run by Republican Mayor Greg Hines and is represented in the U.S. House of Representatives by another Republican, Steve Womack. Arkansas’ 3rd Congressional District has been represented in the House of Representatives by Republicans since 1967. The library’s board of directors is appointed by Mayor Rogers.

“This book is held by many public libraries in northwest Arkansas, including Bentonville Public Library, Fayetteville Public Library, and Springdale Public Library,” Jones noted in her committee statement. .

Norris Milligan noted that the book’s award from LGBT activist groups is her library’s continued use of taxpayer-funded resources to teach children how to grow up in “trustworthy adulthood with family members who may or may not be.” One of the reasons people touch their genitals without consulting. “Sex is a Funny Word” was the American Library Association’s 2016 prestigious children’s book and “won several awards, including the 2016 Stonewall Honor Book for Children and Adolescents, and the Normal Fleck for Canadian Children’s Nonfiction Award,” Norris Milligan wrote in the letter.

According to the Toronto Star, the book’s author, Silverberg, and a partner have opened a sex shop in Toronto with plans to “hold off-site sex education workshops for parents of children ages 7 to 12, which The workshop will focus on more than reproduction.”

Norris Milligan wrote that the “professional librarians” who reviewed the book found the book “valuable because it was the unique inclusivity on the subject of sex education that many families in the Rogers community needed. and diversify resources for changes in their physical or sexual orientation.”

From a letter from Rogers Librarian Hannah Norris Milligan.

“The Challenge Committee believes,” the letter says, that the book “…encourages dialogue between children and trusted adults” and that topics of discussion include masturbation, anal exploration and sexual dissociation. The letter said the use of the term “trusted adult” is appropriate in situations where a child may be discussing sexuality with an adult because “it can include a child in an alternate guardian situation.”

What else is in this book (NSFK)

According to The New Philippics blog, which documents the contents of LGBT children’s books and library shelves nationwide, “Sex is a Funny Word” introduced a variety of sexually explicit behaviors to its pre-adolescent target audience. Here are some quotes from the book, according to New Philippics: “Like nipples, some people’s breasts are sensitive and feel fine when they are touched.” “Like any other hole in the body, the anus It’s usually very sensitive, which means it feels good to touch, but it also hurts if we use it roughly.”

Here are some pictures from the book.

“We strive to provide materials that cover the diverse needs of our customers with regard to religion, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation and sexual identity,” Norris Milligan concluded in her letter.

Norris Milligan, who did not respond to calls from the Federalists for comment, left with a colleague on Monday and followed up on her work voicemail on Wednesday.

Federalists’ Challenge Committee Comments on Scribd

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