As a doctor, Dr Miriam Grossman’s biggest challenge is not dangerous diseases, but dangerous ideas.
And some very dangerous ideas underpin the ideology of the sex education industry, psychiatrist Dr Grossman told the Forum on the Family at Mangere on June 28.
Dr Grossman, who has worked at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) campus, is a specialist in child and adolescent psychiatry. She has been studying sex education for the past seven years and has written two books on the subject.

Dr Miriam Grossman speaks with a member of the audience at the Forum on the Family.

Her studies have led her to the conclusion that much modern sex education is based on ideology and not on health. The sex education industry, as promoted in New Zealand by groups like Family Planning and Rainbow Youth, is a social movement, not a health initiative, she said.
“ . . [L]ike all social movements, sex education is not based on how the world is. It is based on how the world should be,” Dr Grossman said.
“In this perfect world of sex educators . . . no particular lifestyle is healthier than another. Chlamydia, herpes and HIV, they infect people in a random manner. They are equal opportunity diseases. In this world, an abortion is like a tonsillectomy.
“This vision appeals to many people, because, after all, why should girls pay a higher price for promiscuity than guys? That’s sexist. It is not fair. Why should certain sexual encounters be more dangerous than others? That’s homophobic. It is not fair.”
But this perfect world is made up, it doesn’t exist, Dr Grossman said. The science can be shown that proves this conclusively, she said.
And the victims of this ideology are thousands of young people whose lives have been damaged by succumbing to the fantasy of complete sexual freedom, using “protection”.
“Young people who practise the lifestyle endorsed by these groups have more doctor’s appointments, not less — that is so for a simple reason. When sexual freedom is the priority, when young people are given the okay to be sexually active and to explore and experiment with multiple partners, they do just that. And their sexual health suffers. You don’t need a PhD in public health to understand this. All you need is common sense.
“These problems are not abstractions to me. I’m reporting to you from the frontline. Over the past 25 years, I have seen a steady stream of people come through my office who are suffering from the sexual decisions they have made. Their suffering was 100 per cent avoidable. To make matters worse, there wasn’t much I could do for them because it was after the fact.
“In my work at UCLA, I lost count of the number of patients I saw, mostly young women, who had been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection, or who were terrified that they might have HIV, or simply confused and upset after hooking up with a guy a few times, developing feelings for him and then realising that her emotional attachment was the last thing he was after.”
Dr Grossman said three groups pay the highest price when biological truths cannot be told, and cradle to grave sexual freedom is celebrated — girls, women, and men who have sex with men.
As examples of this, she explained how girls and young women are far more susceptible to infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV) than older women. The lining of much of the immature cervix is only one cell thick, making it more vulnerable to infection by HPV, which can lead to genital warts, lesions and even cervical cancer. The vulnerable area of the cervix is much smaller in mature women.
Dr Grossman also warned of the anatomical dangers of anal intercourse, which makes those who do so very vulnerable to infection.
Condom use is no panacea, she warned. When condoms are used for anything but vaginal intercourse, their efficacy is lowered, and that is often printed on the packets. But this information is not widely publicised, as authorities are terrified people will stop using condoms.
Dr Grossman also spoke about the bond of love and trust that intercourse can spark for women with their intimate partners, with the hormone oxytocin playing a vital role. This effect is much greater for women than for men, where testosterone offsets the oxytocin effect in the latter.
It is also not realistic to expect young people in moments of passion to make cool, detached, rational decisions about sex and protection, which is one of the core approaches of sex educators, she added. This is especially so when it can be shown that the decision-making, risk assessing part of the adolescent brain doesn’t fully mature until the 20s.
“I contend that due to the ideology that permeates sex education, and due to the distortion and omission of facts, young people, especially young women, are being sacrificed on the altar of political correctness,” Dr Grossman concluded.
She acknowledged that there is considerable variation from one school to the next in what is taught in New Zealand.
(Sex education, as part of the health curriculum, in Catholic schools in New Zealand is based on Catholic values and principles, which emphasise respect, commitment and fidelity, Lyndsay Freer from Auckland diocese has said.)
n Gender theory
Dr Grossman also condemned the ideological push from sex educators that “maleness” and “femaleness” are socially constructed, and not facts of biology, anatomy and chromosomes. Gender theory borrows from grammatical constructs in languages like French that assign maleness and femaleness to nouns. But this theory goes further in applying this to people, teaching that the messages a child receives from infancy affect gender outcomes.
“I submit that the purpose is social change. Advocates of this agenda fervently believe that the world will be a better place when the distinctions between male and female are seen as subjective, not objective, states,” Dr Grossman said.
Although there are rare examples of people with a genuine condition called “Gender Identity Disorder”, Dr Grossman has seen many other patients who have been very damaged by such a theory. But those ideas, which are promoted by organisations like Rainbow Youth in New Zealand, have been discredited by modern developments in fields like neurobiology and paediatric pyschology, she said.
The theories of gender pioneers, like New Zealand-born Dr John Money, that hold that we are all “psychological hermaphrodites” have also been discredited. Dr Grossman cited the disastrous Riemer case in Canada where a boy with damaged sex organs was castrated and raised as a girl alongside his identical, but undamaged, twin brother who was raised as a boy. But, contrary to Money’s published work, the boy raised as a girl was severely psychologically damaged and subsequently committed suicide as an adult, as did his brother. But Money’s ideas are still taught as fact, Dr Grossman said.
But the one group sex educators don’t accept for being who they really are, are people attracted to the same sex and who are unhappy about it. They want to struggle against it, because they don’t believe this is who they really are. But according to the sex education ideologues, such people have bought into society’s homophobia and can’t accept that they really are gay.
Dr Grossman called this “a serious lapse in intellectual honesty”.
“Our biology dictates our maleness and our femaleness. Biology indicates there is a bipolar system. “It is not an oppressive paradigm. It is an objective truth. It follows then that the union of male and female, emotionally, physically and spiritually, is a distinct reality,” she said, alluding to current debates around the nature of marriage.
“This is a war of ideas,” Dr Grossman concluded, adding that “it certainly is an uphill battle, but battles worth fighting are always uphill.”
She noted that she would always be ready to argue these issues with groups like Family Planning, but they didn’t accept invitations to media debates during her New Zealand visit.
Family First, which organised the Forum on the Family, is to commission Dr Grossman to do a research paper on sex education in New Zealand.