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Who is Miriam Grossman?

Posted in: Comment
By Craig Young - 20th April 2012

Miriam_Grossman.jpg
Miriam Grossman
Family First is getting somewhat desperate when it doesn't bother to conceal the fact that its June 2012 "Forum on the Family" speaker is a religious social conservative. Meet Dr Miriam Grossman.

For a change, Grossman isn't a fundamentalist Protestant or conservative Catholic- although she is a religious social conservative, namely an Orthodox Jew. It should be noted that not all Orthodox Jews subscribe to co-belligerency with the Christian Right, wary of the troubled fundamentalist and Catholic pasts insofar as anti-Semitism is concerned. However, Grosssman doesn't fall into that category- she is a regular guest of US Christian Right organisations like Focus on the Family and participates within the World Congress of Families, a US Christian Right-centred international networking annual conference, to be held in Madrid in May 2012 this year.

And as one might guess, the "World Congress of Families" is fixated on a narrow range of religious social conservative obsessions- opposition to feminism, opposition to LGBT legislative reform, opposition to abortion rights, opposition to comprehensive sex education and nothing that really affects real families all that much. According to the March 2012, our own beloved Family First isn't a 'partner' like notorious antigay organisations Americans for "Truth" about Homosexuality, Focus on the Family and Family Research Council (US), Christian Concern (UK), Endeavour Forum and the Australian Family Association (Australia), REAL Women (Canada), Human Life International and Tradition Family and Property.

Grossman's forte is attacking comprehensive sexuality organisation as produced by mainstream evidence-based organisations like the International Planned Parenthood Federation and our own Family Planning Association. This involves indoctrinating young women with propaganda about STIs and psychological stresses involved with initiating and maintaining sexual relationships, while neglecting important correlates like self-esteem education and information about contraception. These 'fear-based curricula' don't actually prevent teenagers from having sex, and they do lack information about how to protect oneself from HIV/AIDS and STI through condoms and other forms of contraception. Needless to say, Grossman toes the religious social conservative party line when it comes to homosexuality too- on the basis of extremely biased 'evidence' from the exgay NARTH organisation, she argues that sexual orientation can be easily modified. She herself is associated with the Clare Booth Luce Policy Institute, a US antifeminist research organisation. People For the American Way has excellent articles on insight into their agenda on their website, which provide useful rebuttals of the 'science' involved.

It's easy to speculate what sort of 'research' will be cited at this event. We are supposed to be blinded by the fact that Grossman has professional qualifications without asking whether her particular opinion is congruent with evidence-based research and practise from mainstream professional opinion and practise. Whenever one encounters religious social conservative professionals, one is met with badly designed 'research' methods and practise, selective citation or distortion of others research if it contradicts religious social conservative dogma and 'cherry picking' of selective data sets compared to a wider body of research that shows some inconvenient conclusions that refute their case. In two words, junk 'science'

No wonder Family First invited her to their Forum. I would also hazard a guess that her involvement suggests that Family First may be becoming increasingly dependent on the US Christian Right and its Canadian, British and Australian satellites for its survival in terms of propaganda, tactics and strategy. I could only count four fundamentalist small business donors for the Forum this year- Business and Tax Advisors, FetchALamp, Pharmabrokers and Leaning Options. Obviously, the recession is biting deep into their pool of available donors, judging from the meagre nature of this list. Family First is also actively involved in propagandising for one of her books, of which there are two, published by conservative US imprints Regnery and Sentinel.

How convenient to be so forewarned.

Recommended:
People for the American Way: Back to School With the Religious Right: http://www.pfaw.org/media-center/publications/back-school-religious-right
People for the American Way: Teaching Fear: The Religious Right's Campaign Against Sexuality Education: http://www.pfaw.org/media-center/publications/teaching-fear

Not Recommended:
Clare Booth Luce Policy Institute: http://www.clbpi.org
Family First Forum on the Family: http://www.forumonthefamily.org.nz
Family First: http://www.familyfirst.org.nz
World Congress on the Family: http://www.worldcongress.org/wcfnl/pdf/2012/wcfnl.1202.pdf

Books:
Miriam Grossman: You're Teaching My Child What? A Physician Exposes the Lies of Sex Education and How They Harm Your Child: Washington: Regnery Publishing: 2009.
Miriam Grossman: Unprotected: A Campus Psychiatrist Reveals How Political Correctness Endangers Every Student: New York: Sentinel: 2007.


Craig Young - 20th April 2012

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