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This Is What They Mean By “Engaged Learning”? March 3, 2011

Posted by Skippy in Sexuality.

Northwestern Class Sex Toy Demonstration Causes Controversy:

Northwestern students and administrators are defending an explicit after-class demonstration involving a woman being publicly penetrated by a sex toy on stage in the popular Human Sexuality course last week.
The optional presentation last Monday, attended by about 120 students, featured a naked non-student woman being repeatedly sexually stimulated to the point of orgasm by the sex toy, referred to as a “fucksaw.” The device is essentially a motorized phallus.
The 600-person course, taught by psychology Prof. John Michael Bailey, is one of the largest at NU. The after-class events, which range from a question-and-answer session with swingers to a panel of convicted sex offenders, are a popular feature of the class. But they’re optional and none of the material is included on exams.

My initial reaction was “Ok, I’m all for teaching in ways that challenge students, but really?” As I thought about it, my initial “WTF?” reaction was prudish. Would I teach a class on human sexuality in that manner? Definitely not–however, it’s nigh unto impossible to teach a class dealing with human sexuality that wouldn’t in some way include material, discussions, or (in this case) demonstrations that would be considered offensive. When I have taught “Religion and Sexuality,” I’ve had students who got offended by the mere question “How do you know you’re heterosexual”—and that’s the first lecture on the first day. I’m pretty sure those students would not last the hour in Dr. Bailey’s class.

I daresay no one will ever forget this guy’s class!



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