Slide shared by N.B. premier ‘gross misrepresentation’ of sexual health presentation

The sexual education slide that angered New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs is the first of more than 100 in a presentation about healthy relationships and sexual health that is given to high school students across the country, reporters learned Friday.

Teresa Norris, president of the Montreal-based organization HPV Global Action, walked media through the presentation in an effort to provide context for the single opening slide that Higgs shared on social media last week and deemed “clearly inappropriate.”

The screenshot of the slide features questions such as, “Do girls masturbate?” and “Is it good or bad to do anal?”

Norris explained that the questions are intended to be attention-grabbing, but also to show teens that such questions are normal, and that her presentation will give them the information they need to find answers. She said teenagers are asking these questions, whether parents and educators know it or not.

“And where HPV Global is preoccupied is ensuring that when they look for that answer, we’re giving them a proper, age-appropriate, evidence-based answer and not misinformation like they’re going to find online,” Norris said in an interview.

Higgs shared a screenshot of the slide last week on X, formerly Twitter, writing that HPV Global would not be allowed to present at schools in the province, “effective immediately.”

He also claimed the material is not part of the provincial curriculum. However, a government website shows puberty, gender identity, sexual orientation and healthy romantic and sexual relationships are all discussed in a high school course on individual and family wellness. Higgs later admitted that he had not seen the presentation in its entirety.

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