Northwestern “Sex” Professor – did he go too far?

Posted by in Questions




It always seems the most controversial and taboo subjects lead to the biggest debates and receive the most national attention.  Nothing proves this point better than the recent heat a Professor at Northwestern has received for his public demonstration of sex toys.  Or if you are lazy, check out the Video.  In summary, John Michael Bailey, professor of psychology and human sexuality, offered an optional after class demonstration with non-university volunteers to demonstrate the use of sex toys for his piece on “networking for kinky people.”  The demonstration was entirely optional, and he explicitly warned the students of the graphic nature many times of the content, so he seems to have followed all necessary university protocols.  Additionally, “Student feedback from the event was ‘uniformly positive,'” so that isn’t the issue.  However, the univeristy, most notably the President, had reservations about the intent of the demonstration and called for an investigation to determine if he violated any policies.

So the question, after you read the full article, is this—do you side with the professor or the president? Is this even a question of being right and wrong?

Personally, I don’t think it is an argument or right or wrong….it’s about whether or not the professor SHOULD have done what he did.  He hasn’t given a compelling argument to WHY it was necessary to have the demonstration.  Yes it shows something, literally, but I think it’s pretty easy to imagine how a “f–saw” is used.  Despite being pretty liberal about these kind of things, I don’t see the rationale. Even though the students were not offended, their are other repercussions the university can face, such as public pressure, that he did not consider, and hence I understand the stance the President took.  I am mostly taken this stance because being the son of a high school principle, I’ve seen first hand how an individual’s actions can affect the entire group.  It is THIS aspect that bears the most weight and why I side with the President.

But what do you think?  I want comments.