Sex exhibit controversy draws out curious crowd
A flood of complaints about a controversial sex education exhibit at the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa are helping to draw in visitors after the furor erupted before its opening day Thursday.
“We’re actually having a really good day,” said Olivier Bouffard, a spokesman for the museum. “People have been calling in from everywhere. I noticed the number of complaints and words of support are mathematically dead even.”
Bouffard said the first wave of reactions were mostly negative, but that media attention to the controversy has brought out many supporters.
“I received an email from someone saying they contracted HIV recently through a lack of understanding,” he said. “They said that if they had been more educated, they could have avoided it.”
Inside the exhibit, some visitors said that it was the controversy that drew them in. “I came because one of my Catholic friends was complaining about it online,” said Christina Anderson. “I just had to see it for myself.”
“Someone online actually compared it to the Tori Stafford trial. That’s an insult,” said visitor Sarah Power. “This is a safe place for kids to be open and learn.”
Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore weighed in on the exhibit yesterday afternoon saying “its content cannot be defended, and is insulting to taxpayers.”
“It’s not our place to get into an argument with the minister,” said Bouffard, “we have been responsive to concerns by raising the age of entry and we’re carrying forward with the exhibit.”
The negative reaction was surprising Bouffard said, since the museum researched how the show was received in Regina and Montreal before going ahead with the exhibit.