Is a live sex demonstration in a university lecture appropriate for students?

Mandi Gosling

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A Northwestern University professor staged a live sex demonstration as part of a lecture in a human sexuality class last month.

In front of more than 100 students, a woman stripped down naked, laid down on a towel and then her fiancé used a machine-powered dildo to bring her to climax.  Following the demonstration, the professor led a discussion on sex fetishes and the female orgasm.

Professor J. Michael Bailey told the students several times they were not required to attend the presentation and it was after the normal class time.

Since the demonstration, the university has criticized Bailey’s actions.  He has defended his choice to use such graphic teaching tools but said he regrets “the effect it has had on Northwestern University’s reputation” and would not do it again.

However, he said it has raised many questions about academic freedom and the consequences of sexual attitudes on education.

Can watching a live demonstration of sex in a classroom and then discussing it academically teach students anything?