• France's news in English

Explicit French 'sex ed' class photos were fake

Joshua Melvin · 17 Feb 2014, 17:20

Published: 17 Feb 2014 17:20 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

It was the latest move by France's extremist right wing groups to try provoke outrage directed at France's Socialist government.

First it was the rumours that nursery pupils were going to be taught masturbation classes, now a French fundamentalist Catholic group named Civitas has tried to provoke uproar by uploading suggestive photos to its website, that claimed to show a graphic sex education class in a French state school.

The photo montage shows a woman handling sex toys and simulating sexual positions apparently in front of French school children.

Bearing the caption “Here is the sex education being taught to our children”, the montage drew much anger online after its posting to the Civitas website last week.

But it has emerged that the photograhs, weren’t taken from inside a French school at all. In fact, the photos were taken during a class taught in Canada by the owner of a Toronto sex shop.

The woman, Carlyle Jansen, hosts sexuality and pleasure classes for adults but throws in some STD prevention for good measure.

It was that portion of the class that led to French far-right watchdog group debunkerdehoax.org noticing the erroneous information. Debunker's eagle-eyed writers saw that on a white board at the head of the classroom the acronyms “HIV/AIDS” were written in English. That info led to the photo's true source.

After word spread in the French media the photos were from Canada, Civitas attempted to explain the error.

“Some media outlets of the system mocked Civitas for posting the photos, which were taken in Canada and not France. It’s true that a couple of days were needed to precisely locate the place where the photos were taken,” Civitas wrote. “We don’t have the means at the disposal of the media of the system.”

The incident follows a string of recent of high profile run-ins between far right ultra-conservatives and President François Hollande’s Socialist government, which presided over the legalization of gay marriage in May 2013.

Last week right wing groups encouraged their followers to go to French public libraries and demand the removal of books they deemed a threat to children. The books were either LGBT-friendly, such as the book “Jean has Two Mummies”, or dealt with children and sexuality.

About three weeks prior to that another conservative group urged parents to keep their children home from school because they were being taught masturbation classes in schools.

Story continues below…

It was a patently false claim spread by an activist upset over a new test program in French schools that teaches gender equality to children. 

At issue has been something certain conservatives have dubbed gender theory, which they say is an attempt to teach children their gender is flexible and not determined by birth.

The library confrontations, which quickly ended, drew a strong rebuke from France's Culture Minister Aurélie Filippetti.

“France does not tolerate censorship in these beacons of the founding ideals of the republic,” she said. “I reaffirm my absolute support for library personnel and local elected officials who have to deal with this aggression."

Joshua Melvin (joshua.melvin@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

UK border must move back, says 'next French president'
Photo: AFP

If favourite Alain Juppé is elected, Britain and France are in for some difficult negotiations.

Homeless man does a runner from France's top restaurants
Photo: Prayitno/Flickr

"A man's gotta eat," he told police, after racking up gigantic bills in some of France's plushest restaurants.

Underwater museum hopes to make a splash in Marseille
A similar underwater museum piece by Jason deCaires Taylor. Photo: julie rohloff/Flickr

Don't forget your scuba gear...

Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Photo: Jacme/Flickr

Move over Paris...

And France's top chef of the year is... 'Monsieur Idiot'
Alexandre Couillon might have an unfortunate name, but he can sure cook!. Photo: AFP

Look beyond the name. He's the man who turned his family's humble "moules frites" joint into one of France's best seafood restaurants.

Could France do more to ease the worries of 'Brexpats'?
Photo: AFP

Paris is rolling out the red tape for British firms, so why not British citizens in France?

Brexit: Brits in France could face 'cataclysmic' impact
Photo: AFP

Can't France make it easier for Britons to get French nationality?

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
Want to drive a scooter around Paris? Here's what you need to know
jobs available