Parents of students at Northwestern University might be interested to learn where some of the $40,000 they spend annually in tuition goes to. From the Chicago Sun-Times:
More than 100 Northwestern University students watched as a naked 25-year-old woman was penetrated by a sex toy wielded by her fiancee during an after-class session of the school’s popular “Human Sexuality” class.
The woman said she showed up at the Feb. 21 lecture in the Ryan Family Auditorium in Evanston expecting just to answer questions, but was game to demonstrate. The course’s professor on Wednesday acknowledged some initial hesitation, but said student feedback was “uniformly positive.”
And Northwestern defended the class and its professor.
“Northwestern University faculty members engage in teaching and research on a wide variety of topics, some of them controversial and at the leading edge of their respective disciplines,” said Alan K. Cubbage, vice president for University Relations. “The University supports the efforts of its faculty to further the advancement of knowledge.”
I wonder if the three Methodist ministers who founded the school had this in mind. The story from the Sun Times doesn’t wonder if anyone might have any possible objections. The reporter was only able to find people who thought the live sex show, featuring BDSM toys, was the bee’s knees. The only moral issue that was addressed was whether anyone was coerced. That low bar being met, everyone gives a thumbs up on the show. This includes a researcher from the Kinsey Institute and, allegedly, a grandmother of one of the students there. Something tells me that maybe, just maybe, someone out there might have questioned whether this was appropriate for a public environment, much less a classroom environment.
Someone at Reuters was able to find someone who questioned the decision to host a live sex show was found:
The president of an American university said on Thursday he was launching an investigation into an on-campus presentation of a live sex act performed for students at an after class event.
President Morton Schapiro of Northwestern University, which is of Chicago in Evanston, said he was “troubled and disappointed” after hearing about the use of a sex toy on a naked woman by her fiance in front of more than 100 students.
It’s all worth comparing to coverage of the decision by Brigham Young University to suspend one of its star basketball players for a violation of its honor code:
Here’s an Associated Press sports story:
Zero is the number 6-foot-9 forward Brandon Davies wore before being booted off BYU’s team this week for breaking the school’s honor code.
Does it now also represent the odds the third-ranked Cougars have of making a deep run in the NCAA tournament?
The words “Mormon” or “Latter-day Saints” don’t appear in the story (or in this ESPN story), although the honor code is discussed and the sports implications are really well explained. You can’t really understand any school’s honor code without understanding why they have it. The reader who sent it in wrote:
Interesting clash here between America’s love for sports, a nationally ranked team that has a shot at the national championship, and the media left scratching their head trying to make sense of a religious school and their “Honor Code.”
Slate posted a tweet expressing shock at the school’s decision:
BYU suspends player, FOR THE SEASON, for having sex with his girlfriend.
But later Slate had an interesting piece attempting to answer a few questions about premarital sex at BYU.