Articles by Deborah Rankin
April 11, 2019
As Quebec and Ontario grapple with the formation of their sex education curricula, some activists have noticed how pornography has permeated culture—including sex-ed. Culture Reframed, a free online parent program, seeks to build resilience and resistance in children and adolescents to hypersexualized media and porn.
However, the revised sex-ed curriculum is facing mounting opposition from many parents who say that it has little to do with providing students with up-to-date information or protecting them from sexual predators The Toronto District School Board elicited the wrath of parents several years ago when it posted a link to a sexual diversity website for children 8 years and up encouraging them to experiment with bondage, fetishism, and group sex with their friends, adding insult to injury by refusing to reveal the identity of the teacher who posted it Parents who oppose the new sex-ed curriculum argue that it promotes "enthusiastic assent" to all forms of sexual behavior for kids as young as 5 or 6 making the whole issue of "informed consent" moot and mere politically-correct window-dressing A professor emerita of sociology and women's studies at Wheelock College in Boston, Dines says that no robust sexual education can be put in place without first doing a critical analysis of pornography and its pervasive influence on mass culture The relative strength of this segment of the porn market can only incentivize the sexualization of young girls and groom young boys to eventually become adult sexual predators
February 7, 2018
In the second of two parts, Convivum contributor Deborah Rankin talks with front line warriors against human sex trafficking. Despite tough laws passed by Canada in recent years, the battle in the street is far from over.
Stella, an organization run by and for sex workers has long argued against the prohibition of prostitution and disputes claims about exploitation of young women and girls by men in the sex trade According to Ronald Lepage, director of The Way Out, a Montreal organization that provides counselling, s...
February 6, 2018
During the last years of the Harper era, parliamentarians of all stripes worked in non-partisanship to combat human trafficking. Yet as Montreal writer Deborah Rankin learns from experts, and writes in this two-part Convivium series, all that political energy produced depressingly few benefits for young women trapped in the sex trade.
Parliament accepted these research findings when former Bloc Québécois MP and criminologist Maria Mourani sponsored a private member's bill (C-452) that recognized sexual exploitation as a category of human trafficking Over the years they have hosted conferences bringing educators, women's groups, a...
August 1, 2016
Just when society has settled in to the reality and implications of surrogate parenthood, the adult children of medical conception are speaking out against it, Deborah Rankin writes
The whole issue of genetic identity rights turns on a profound yet unstated contradiction: although the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, race and other inherited characteristics that constitute a person's genetic identity, donor-conceived people a...
April 25, 2016
Looking at two models of maternal health care being developed in Montreal, Deborah Rankin discovers a path beyond the morass of moral debate – and a way to do what’s best for mom and baby, too.
Yet people who are acting out of a genuine concern for expectant mothers ought to be able to agree on certain things, such as that it makes sense to provide optimal health care, as well as access to the necessities of life, for women who are expecting and that the maternal rights of pregnant women m...
February 1, 2014
Deborah Rankin reports on two Christian MPs leading the fight against the sex trade
Julia Beazley, a policy analyst for the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC), which has supported the anti-human-trafficking bills of Mourani and Smith, says that Canadian laws are often contradictory, especially in controversial areas such as prostitution Mourani has asked her colleagues in Parli...
November 1, 2012
An Aussie ex-hippie playwright finds spiritual welcome at a Montreal United Church.
Rodgers sees parallels between the marginalization of the anglophone community in a nationalist Quebec and the isolation that many Christians and other people of faith feel in the hypersecularist culture of a province where identity politics are the order of the day, leaving very little room for cul...