Holt, Rinehart and Winston Health Textbook

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Date: 1994

Region: North America

Subject: Explicit Sexuality

Medium: Literature


Artist: Holt, Rinehart and Winston

Confronting Bodies: State of Texas

Dates of Action: March 1994

Location: Austin, Texas

Description of Artwork: Five health textbooks, including one published by Holt, Rinehart and Winston Inc.

The Incident: Texas Board of Education held hearings in which family-planning, anti-abortion, gay-advocacy, fundamentalist Christian, and other groups debated the merits of five health texts, written by Holt and four other publishers. The board, which buys all textbooks for the state, last month requested a total of 400 revisions in the five texts, with the largest percentage of them for the Holt book, including the deletion of toll-free numbers for gay and lesbian groups and for teenage suicide prevention groups. The state wanted to see passages on homosexuality abridged, the addition of language describing Texas's sodomy laws, and the deletion of a number of clinical illustrations, including a self-examination for testicular cancer and two comparing circumcised and uncircumcised penises.

Results of Incident: Holt refused to make changes.Holt, Rinehart and Winston Inc. decided to pull its 700-page high school health text out of the huge Texas textbook market not only because making scores of requested revisions was economically unfeasible but also because ethical issues were at stake.

Source: New York Times Article