Miriam Grossman, M.D.

On Monday, NJ governor Chris Christie’s nominee for the Commissioner of the Department of Children and Families will be interviewed by the State Senate Judiciary Committee. If confirmed, Janet Rosenzweig will preside over the Divisions of Youth and Family Services, Child Behavioral Health Services, Prevention and Community Partnerships, Child Welfare Training Academy, Community Services, Office of Education, and Office of Licensing. She will also influence policy making as a member of the cabinet.

Dr Rosenzweig’s impressive resume includes two items that call for careful examination. One is her certification as a sexuality instructor by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (ASSECT). The other is her recent position as acting executive director of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS).

Members of the Judiciary Committee need to know some of the history of these two professional organizations. SSSS, established in 1957, and ASSECT, which began in 1967, are part of the “sexology” industry that grew out of Kinsey’s model of human sexuality. This model is based on the notorious scientist’s conviction that sexuality is not an appetite that needs to be restrained.

In modern society, Kinsey argued, there is no place for sexual taboos and restrictions, since all behaviors lie within the spectrum of sexual diversity. Kinsey’s spectrum was wider and more diverse than members of the committee might think. It included non-marital sex, adult-child sex, and, for some of his disciples, incest.

It was anything goes for Kinsey and his associates - and I mean anything. They taught it, and they lived it.

So entrenched was this radical worldview that 50 years after Kinsey – years that have brought pandemics of child molestation, pornography, sexually transmitted diseases, and AIDS – it remains canonized for groups like SSSS, ASSECT, and many others.

Which brings me back to Dr Rosenzweig.

The committee must determine how Dr Rozenzweig’s’s affiliation with these radical organizations influenced her own vision of human sexuality, and consider how this vision will impact her policy making. For example, according to their website, ASSECT believes that all people, whatever their age, are entitled to the freedom to engage in healthy modes of sexual activity. They advocate for the sexual rights of minors, and oppose all forces that would restrict or interfere with the entitlement of children and adolescents to develop in a sexually healthy manner.

Based on the above, Dr Rosenzweig must be asked: do you agree with ASSECT that minors have the right to engage in sexual activity? ASSECT also recognizes and supports the right of all individuals, regardless of age and without parental consent, “to the best available technologies for reproduc¬tive decision-making”.

Therefore, the Committee must ask the nominee: Are you in favor of school-based reproductive health clinics, where students have access to contraceptives, STD testing, and referral for abortion without parental involvement? Do you agree with ASSECT that minors have the right to make their own decisions about contraceptives and abortion?

Furthermore, AASECT “recognizes the many varieties of sexuality including, but not limited to, the full range of sexual orientations, gender, transgender, and intersex positions, as well as erotic preferences and lifestyles. AASECT opposes the application of labels such as “normal” and “abnor¬mal” to these variations in the healthy sexual expression of adults, and AASECT believes that all sexual and cultural minori¬ties should enjoy sexual freedom, equal civil rights, and parity of social opportunities and privileges.”

It follows that Dr Rosenzweig be asked: do you agree with AASECT that gender is not restricted to just male and female? Is there any sexual behavior that you consider abnormal? Do you think people in “open” marriages or who identify as neither male nor female should become foster or adoptive parents?

Remember, the nominee was certified by ASSECT. Certification by requires completion of “Sexuality Attitude Restructuring”. SAR consists of films, slides, and audio of explicit sexual behaviors – heterosexual, homosexual, group, oral, child/adult - projected on multiple screens for hours at a time. Dr Judith Reisman describes SAR as “a critical tool to reshape views of human sexuality”. It desensitizes and disinhibits the brain, she explains, “to allow a shift in pedagogical attitude and performance”.

George Leonard described his SAR experience in Esquire magazine. “By the end”, he wrote, “nothing was shocking…” SAR was offered to participants at the SSSS 2008 annual meeting in Puerto Rico, during which time Dr Rosenzweig was acting executive director. The next questions for Dr Rosenzweig: Have you been through SAR? How many times? What did the experience entail? Do you agree with ASSECT and SSSS that SAR is essential to the training of medical professionals, sex educators, therapists, and other human services providers?

Like ASSECT, SSSS is animated by the notion of every individual’s unlimited sexual freedom. Their past presidents include psychologists Wardell Pomeroy and John Money, Kinsey disciples who questioned the taboo against adult/child sexual activity, including incest.

That’s right, New Jersey. You may soon have a state official whose former job was with a group whose early presidents advocated an end to the incest taboo.

TIME Magazine’s 1980 article, “Attacking the Last Taboo”, quoted them. Pomeroy: “It is time to admit that incest need not be a perversion or a symptom of mental illness.” Money: “A childhood sexual experience, such as being the partner of a relative or of an older person, need not necessarily affect the child adversely.”

TIME called Pomeroy, Money, and their colleagues “the incest lobby”. The same year, Pomeroy admitted under oath to seeking funds from the sex industry to produce his own child pornography.

Do current members of SSSS share these values? I find no condemnation of Pomeroy or Money on their website or in their publications. To the contrary, their online list of “must-read” books suggests that believers in child sexuality and pedophilia are welcome at SSSS.

Titles include Children’s sexual encounters with adults: A scientific study; Making a place for pleasure in early childhood education; and Boys on their contacts with men. (The subtitle, omitted from the list, is: A Study of Sexually Expressed Friendships.) John Money called the latter volume, by a known pedophile activist, “One of the most valuable works of research scholarship on the topic of pedophilia that has ever appeared in print."

Q for Dr Rosenzweig: Please explain your affiliation with a group whose members include individuals who believe sexual activity between a child and adult can be a benign or even beneficial experience for the child.

Surely Gov Christie is familiar with the Reagan era adage: “Personnel is policy”. Janet Rosenzweig’s prior affiliations will lilely impact the policies she develops or supports. Given what we know of those affiliations, that’s disturbing. The Committee is obligated to ask the nominee tough questions that will make everyone squirm, but ask them they must, and persist until they get truthful, comprehensive answers. The families of New Jersey deserve no less than that.


Miriam Grossman, M.D.

Miriam Grossman, M.D. is a board certified child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist. She is author of the new book "You're Teaching My Child What?"