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Woodhull Initiative Fact Checks Sex Myths and Misinformation with Analysis, Data

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — April 25, 2024 — Washington, DC

The Woodhull Freedom Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting sexual rights as human rights, is leading the charge to counter harmful misinformation about sex and sexuality that is rampant both on social media and in our political discourse.

Woodhull’s newly launched Fact Checked by Woodhull program uses peer-reviewed research, compiled and analyzed by professional researchers, to debunk myths weaponized to justify the repression of sex, sexuality, and gender expression. The first set of Fact Checks, available on the organization’s website, targets misinformation about pornography. With the support of advocates and academics, Woodhull plans to grow the program to correct common myths and misinformation about sex and gender more broadly.

“Over the past few years, a flood of propaganda and pseudoscience has set the stage for repressive policies and poor health outcomes,” says Ricci Joy Levy, President of the Woodhull Freedom Foundation. “Unfortunately, most mainstream media outlets and social media sites are deeply uncomfortable talking about sex and have thus allowed myths and misinformation to flourish. Our Fact Checked program gives journalists, educators, legislators, healthcare professionals, and advocates the information they need to fight back.”

Woodhull’s first fact check release confronts the hot-button myths behind the pseudoscientific “Pornography Public Health Crisis” currently being used to advance broad censorship of the internet. 

“There have been hundreds of bills introduced in the past two years that are based on entirely spurious claims about sex and gender,” says Levy. “Too often, these claims are amplified uncritically by the media. Woodhull has been a source of credible, well-sourced analysis and information for more than two decades. We want to use this program to improve our conversations around our bodies, our healthcare, and our rights.”

Woodhull is expanding its team of researchers and contributors to combat the growing amount of misinformation. Those who are interested in being part of this drafting committee should contact [email protected] for more information. 

Those interested in joining the fight online can help by educating themselves about facts and sharing the posts on Fact Checked By Woodhull to engage with journalists, legislators, and others who may be spreading misinformation wittingly or unwittingly.

The Fact Checked by Woodhull Program only exists because of the financial support of Woodhull donors. If you want to see this work succeed, please donate to Woodhull Freedom Foundation

What People Are Saying About Fact Checked By Woodhull:

“Throughout U.S. history to the present day, repressive political and cultural forces across the ideological spectrum have demonized sexually themed expression with the stigmatizing term “pornography,” purveying myths and misconceptions about its alleged adverse impacts.  The dangers actually arise not from the targeted expression itself but rather from the disinformation about it, which has fueled efforts to suppress valuable information and ideas, including literature by and about feminist and LGBTQ+ people, and even health- and life-saving information about reproductive options.  “Fact Checked by Woodhull” is an essential antidote to this dangerous disinformation.  It presents expert research and evidence about sexual expression, which refutes arguments for additional restrictions.  As with all speech that some people dislike, the appropriate response is more speech.  I dislike the too-prevalent truth-distorting expression about sexual expression, so I applaud the appropriate more-speech response to it: Fact Checked by Woodhull!” 

— Nadine Strossen, Author of Defending Pornography:  Free Speech, Sex, and the Fight for Women’s Rights (NYU Classics edition with new Preface, 2024); former ACLU President (1991-2008)


“In recent years, SIECUS has monitored and actively fought against a troubling surge in deliberate attacks on sensible, age-appropriate, and medically sound sex education and a conflation between it and legal, adult-centered online sex work. Utilizing fear tactics and spreading misinformation, adversaries have resorted to making sensational and inaccurate allegations. SIECUS is excited to be able to use the resource “Fact Checked by Woodhull,”—a comprehensive repository of debunked myths accompanied by evidence-based rebuttals. In an age where reactionary responses often overshadow rational discourse, SIECUS is thrilled to share this evidence-driven resource among community members and advocates, equipping them to confront fear-mongering about sex education with factual information.” 

Alison Macklin, MSW, Policy and Advocacy Director for SIECUS: Sex Ed for Social Change”


About Woodhull Freedom Foundation

Founded in 2003, Woodhull Freedom Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit devoted to education and public advocacy in support of sexual freedom as a fundamental human right. Its work builds on the affirmations of individual rights contained in the United States Constitution, including the Bill of Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It carefully cultivates and works to engage allies from all social, economic, religious, and cultural justice communities interested in affirming sexual freedom.



Media Contact

Ricci Levy
President & CEO
[email protected]

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