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Northwestern cancels Human Sexuality class which had a controversial live demonstration in Feb 2011

Northwestern University said on Monday it will no longer offer the human sexuality class that caused an uproar this spring when students were treated to a live demonstration of an unusual sex toy on a naked woman.

In a brief statement, Alan Cubbage, Northwestern’s spokesman, said the school’s psychology department will not teach the popular “Human Sexuality” course during the coming academic year. He said Northwestern was “reviewing how such a course best fits into the university’s curriculum.” (Reuters) CHICAGO | Mon May 9, 2011 8:00pm EDT


The class, which attracted nearly 600 students in the winter session, came to national attention in February, when about 100 undergraduates attended an optional, after-class discussion on kinks and fetishes. The demonstration occurred on a campus auditorium stage after class, and attendance was optional. It followed a discussion about kinky sex and female orgasm, and about 100 of the 600 students stayed. The students observed a naked woman being penetrated by a motorized sex toy on Feb. 21. The university said in March that it would investigate the incident; officials said Monday that the review continues. By Jodi S. Cohen Tribune reporter | 7:34 p.m. CDT, May 9, 2011


I am not quite sure what the purpose was of this demonstration (Professor Bailey did state it was “relevant to a topic relevant to my course”)… but Bailey did do the following:

1. Make this an optional class
2. Held it after school hours
3. Clearly state that the demonstration would be graphic and may be offensive to some viewers

I have read comments on how this demonstration was borderline pornographic. This is a matter of opinion, but for the sake of this argument, let’s call this demonstration pornography… is not pornography a part of human sexuality?  The class had been covering kinky sex and female orgasm – and this live demo most certainly covered both these topics.  I am fairly certain that all students in attendance were quite familiar with female orgasm at some point in time – but may not have been in this manner.

The only error I see in this optional class was that it was on campus. However, had it been off campus, it may have been misconstrued as some sort of “sex party.”

What this all came down to was that Northwestern University feared that this damaged their reputation. Personally, I feel the professor deserves kudos for thinking outside the box of the “educational standards” of mainstream society. It is those teachers, professors, inventors, activists, etc that make a difference in this world be moving beyond the “norm.” And America does have a lot of hang-ups when it comes to sex… many were raised treating sex as “taboo” and “dirty,” when in reality, it is a normal act of man – of all creatures for that matter.

Bailey had taught the human sexuality class since 1994.

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