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Oct. 1 - Mar. 1 2015

Sex: A Tell-all Exhibition

October to March 2015

Am I like everyone else? What kind of person am I attracted to? Why are some areas of the body called “erogenous”? Teens have a million questions about sexuality. And it’s quite normal.

Sex: A Tell-all Exhibition responds to the main concerns of young people and the not-so-young alike. It broaches sexuality in a positive, frank and respectful manner.

This innovative exhibition was developed with the help of respected specialists (sexologists, doctors and scientists), teaching experts, parents, and teenagers. In the exhibition’s five zones, you will find the answers to over 100 basic questions through 50 interactive games, videos, and original multimedia productions.

Structured into five themed zones, this interactive exhibition answers over 100 basic questions about sexuality in an open and positive fashion.

CASCADE 2011 prize for best exhibition or show for Sex: A Tell-all Exhibition.

The Canadian Association for Science Centres (CASC)

Prix Excellence 2011

Société des musées québécois (SMQ)

 

Zone 1: My origins

sex

My story starts with the meeting of an ovum and a sperm cell. At this precise moment, the genes of my parents combine, my gender is determined, and I begin to develop. Already, I am unique.

Where does sexuality come from?

In this photo mosaic, you will discover that sexuality is part of every living thing, from bacteria to bonobos, a species of great ape whose sexual behaviour is surprisingly similar to our own. Trace the origins of sexuality.

Where do I come from?

In a space simulating the inside of the womb, dazzling computer generated images tell the fascinating story of conception and the development of the embryo and fetus.

Why am I a boy? Why am I a girl?

Microscopic-scale photos reveal the process of fertilization, the divergence into either male or female sex, and the appearance of the genital organs.

 

Zone 2: Me

sex

Sexuality is part of me from the moment I am born. Through sexuality, I learn to form bonds and to love, I build my identity, and my body changes. All of this prepares me for an important moment: the encounter with “the other.”

What are girls like? What are boys like?

Two photographic frescos document the successive changes in the human body—in all its fragile beauty—through every stage of life, from birth to old age.

What happens to me during puberty?

With this sound processor you can experience what it’s like when your voice breaks. Nearby, you’ll find a humorous video on the five distressing stages of puberty (hair growth, acne, body odour, etc.).

Am I comfortable with who I am?

Find out whether your perception of yourself matches reality in front of this talking mirror that deforms your appearance.

Who am I really attracted to?

Homosexual and bisexual people relate how they became aware of their sexual orientation.

 

Zone 3: Me and You

sex

When I reach puberty, I am seized with a strange energy. This instinct makes me feel desire and fills me with intense emotions and sensations. I am getting ready for a new experience: shared sexual pleasure.

How do you court someone?

Your challenge: follow the audio instructions of “your” brain—without saying a word and using only non-verbal language (and your natural talents)—to woo one of your fellow visitors.

Why does a caress make me shiver?

With these fun gadgets, discover the biology of a caress, the mechanism of an erection, the role of fantasies, and other phenomena related to arousal and sexual pleasure. Giggles guaranteed.

How does my body react during sex?

Watch a colourful multimedia presentation on the four phases of sex: excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution. Once again, the brain sets the stage, but it sometimes gets overtaken by events…

What is sex like for others?

Take a break and listen to people of different ages talk simply and frankly about their experiences.

 

Zone 4: Me and Others

sex

My sexuality does not develop in a bubble. My lovers, friends, family and society are all constantly influencing my ideas, behavior and even my health. And I in turn influence others. My sexuality necessarily causes me to make choices.

What’s the best way to protect myself?

Join an unusual social network where the more friends you have, the less protection you have and the higher your risk of contracting an STI. Take part in a funny but accurate presentation on how to use a condom, based on a real instruction manual. Find the right contraception method for you.

Can I do whatever I want? 

Join other visitors in taking a quiz on your knowledge of the law governing sexual practices.

Am I influenced by the media?

Take part in Sex: A Tell-all Exhibition by sending photos of sexuality in the media and advertising to our website. Participate in our online forum, and voice your opinion on the sexualization of public spaces.

 

Zone 5: My point of view

sex

I wonder what sexuality means for me. Will it be a source of fulfillment or of anxiety, of pleasure or of solitude, of creativity or of boredom? How do I express, experience and share my sexuality? Only I can answer these questions.

For me, sexuality is…

Answer this question in your own words. Your response will be integrated into the exhibition and contribute to a better understanding of this intimate subject, which leaves no one indifferent.

 

Frequently asked questions (faq)

1. What is Sex: A Tell-all Exhibition?
It is an educational exhibition that answers the main questions young people have about sexuality. It imparts what science has to say on the topic, conveys a positive image of sexuality and, ultimately, helps young people hone their judgment skills so they can make enlightened decisions.

2. Who is the exhibition for?
Adolescents 12 years and older, parents seeking a better understanding of the subject in preparation for their children's questions, teachers of high school and their students, health care professionals, and anyone else who wishes to learn more. Children younger than 12 may visit the exhibition as long as they are accompanied by an adult.

3. Why did the Montréal Science Centre decide to produce Sex: A Tell-all Exhibition?
The human body and sexuality are subjects of broad appeal and fundamental concern, especially for young people, who are among the Montréal Science Centre’s most important clienteles.

4. How is the scientific content of Sex: A Tell-all Exhibition presented?
A number of scientific fields are covered, such as biology, anatomy, physiology, psychology, public health, and sexology, to name a few. The exhibition explains the physiological and psychological manifestations of sexuality from a scientific standpoint, answering young people’s most common concerns in frank but tactful language.

5. Who participated in the exhibition’s development?
The Montréal Science Centre formed a scientific committee made up of doctors, public health experts, science education specialists, and sexologists, who were responsible for validating the exhibition’s content and presentation. A focus group of young people also took part in the development, commenting on different versions of the exhibition content. Finally, the Montréal Science Centre also consulted with parents in order to assess their expectations, needs, and concerns.

6. Won’t Sex: A Tell-all Exhibition encourage young people to have sex?
No. The exhibition informs visitors and helps them understand the issues surrounding sexuality so they can make enlightened and responsible decisions. The exhibition is designed to present information in a scientific, fun and interactive manner, an approach that the Montréal Science Centre holds dear.

7. Sexuality is already so pervasive in the lives of today’s youth. Why must the Montréal Science Centre talk about it too?
It is precisely because it is talked about so frequently that it should also be discussed in a place like the Montréal Science Centre, because:
-the information young people get is not always accurate,
-the prevalence of sexuality puts a lot of pressure on young people,
-reliable and comprehensive sources of information are rare or little-known.

8. Does the exhibition deal with:
-contraception?
-masturbation?
-homosexuality?
-STIs?
The exhibition deals with all of these subjects in as general a manner as possible. The Montréal Science Centre offers reliable resources to young people who wish to learn more about certain subjects.

9. How does the exhibition fit in with my child’s school curriculum?
In the new Québec Education Program, sex education does not fall under the purview of a single subject, but rather becomes the responsibility of a number of partners. The concepts related to sexuality dealt with in the exhibition can be covered in several courses: English, Ethics and Religious Culture, Science and Technology, etc. The Montréal Science Centre’s exhibition actually facilitates the work of teachers, who can cover the topic of sexuality as part of a school field trip.

10. My child will be visiting the exhibition on a school field trip. Will teachers and students be well prepared?
Yes. The Montréal Science Centre has developed a Teacher’s Guide, which includes in-class activities for before and after the MSC field trip. As they visit the exhibition, students also complete a quiz-game designed to help them integrate the exhibition’s content more effectively and provide a more structured experience.

11. Would you recommend this exhibition for families? Will it interest my children, aged 13 and 10?
The exhibition is recommended for children aged 12 and up. However, the Montréal Science Centre offers a wide range of exhibitions and IMAX films that younger children will enjoy. In this way, parents can accompany a younger child, while their adolescent explores the exhibition.

12. Can my teenager visit the exhibition without me?
Yes. Teenagers may explore the exhibition individually or with friends, like all the other activities offered by the Montréal Science Centre.

13. Will I find Sex: A Tell-all Exhibition interesting even without my teenager?
Yes. The exhibition is completely appropriate for parents who wish to learn more about their children’s concerns regarding sexuality, and it will put them in a better position to answer any questions their children might ask. In addition, because the exhibition presents sexuality in a very accessible manner, it may even answer questions they themselves have.

The Montréal Science Centre created a scientific committee made up of experts in the fields of medicine, public health, pedagogy, and sexology to validate the content and presentation of the exhibition.

A focus group of adolescents also took part in developing the exhibition, providing feedback on different versions of the storyboard.

Scientific Committee
Mylène Fernet, professor and researcher
Department of sexology, UQÀM

Martine Fortier, educationalist
Montréal-Centre department of public health

Jean-Yves Frappier, M.D., pediatrician
President, Canadian Association for Adolescent Health
Adolescent health unit, CHU Sainte-Justine

Joanne Otis, professor and researcher
Canada Research Chair in Health Education
Department of sexology, UQÀM

Julie Pelletier, sexologist
Capitale-Nationale department of public health

Vincent Quesnel, sexologist
CEGEP Lionel-Groulx

Jocelyne Robert, sexologist, communicator, author

For more about sexuality in general.

 

Sex, Etc.
http://www.sexetc.org/
Features 16 topic areas, including sections on sex and relationships, pregnancy, STDs, birth control, sexual orientation and more.

Sexuality and U
http://sexualityandu.ca
Provides information and education on sexual health, with the guidance and collaboration of a team of distinguished Canadian medical organizations.

Sex Without the Guess
http://www.youngandhealthy.ca/caah/Informations/t428x413/Sex+Without+the+Guess.aspx
Take control of your health. Starting here.

Tips for smart love
http://publications.msss.gouv.qc.ca/acrobat/f/documentation/2012/12-314-02A.pdf
This fun brochure, intended for young people, includes tests, games and information on how to prevent STI and how to be comfortable in intimate relationships.

 

If you have a specific question to ask or want to talk about sexuality with a parent or an adult.

 

Tel-jeunes
http://en.teljeunes.com/home
Telephone hotline: 24/7 – free, bilingual, confidential and professional. Call 514-288-2266 (Montreal region) or 1-800-263-2266 (toll free elsewhere in Québec).

Kids Help Phone
http://www.kidshelpphone.ca/en/
Toll free, national, bilingual, phone and web counseling, referral and information service for children and youth. Call 1-800-668-6868

 

If you are wondering about contraception and sexually transmitted infections.

 

8-1-1
http://sante.gouv.qc.ca/en/systeme-sante-en-bref/info-sante-8-1-1/
Telephone service that allows you to contact a health care professional directly.

When you think about it
http://www.itss.gouv.qc.ca/accueil_en.dhtml
Why a condom? For a variety of reasons!

A guide to helping you make decisions about contraception
http://sexualityandu.ca/games-and-apps/choosing-wisely-birth-control-selection-tool

Getting to know STBBIs
http://publications.msss.gouv.qc.ca/acrobat/f/documentation/2013/13-314-04A.pdf

Information about emergency contraception
http://www.not-2-late.com/
Everything you wanted to know about the “morning after pill.”

 

If you are wondering about sexual orientation.

 

Project 10
http://www.p10.qc.ca/services
The listening line provides an anonymous and easily accessible avenue for support and information for LGBITTQ youths 14 to 25 and the wider community.

 

If you think you / your friend / your partner is pregnant.

 

Tel-jeunes
http://en.teljeunes.com/home
Telephone hotline: 24/7 – free, bilingual, confidential and professional. Call 514-288-2266 (Montreal region) or 1-800-263-2266 (toll free elsewhere in Québec).

Kids Help Phone
http://www.kidshelpphone.ca/en/
Toll free, national, bilingual, phone and web counseling, referral and information service for children and youth. Call 1-800-668-6868

Transformations, Butterflies, Passions... and All Sorts of Questions
http://publications.msss.gouv.qc.ca/acrobat/f/documentation/2014/14-307-01WA.pdf
Parents’ guide for discussing sexuality with their teens.

Basso, Michael J.
The Underground Guide to Teenage Sexuality: An Essential Handbook for Today's Teens and Parents.

Minneapolis: Fairview Press, 2003.
A guide to teenage sexuality, updated and expanded with information on sexually transmitted diseases, contraception, sexual abuse, healthy relationships, hotlines and resources, and much more.

The SexEducator
http://www.msss.gouv.qc.ca/sujets/prob_sante/itss/index.php?id=74,224,0,0,1,0
Magazine with sex education activities for secondary students.

Canadian Guidelines for Sexual Health Education (Public Health Agency of Canada):
http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/cgshe-ldnemss/cgshe_toc-eng.php
Detailed description of a method for providing effective, broadly based and inclusive sexual health education.

The Sex Information and Education Council of Canada (SIECCAN)
http://www.sieccan.org/
A national registered charitable organization founded in 1964 to foster professional education and public knowledge about sexuality and sexual health. Call 416-466-5304