Professor Criticized for Sex Toy Demonstration
Professor John Michael Bailey of Northwestern University has been under a bit of heat the last few weeks. Known for his controversial classes on sex education, Professor Bailey has always walked the line of taboo subjects. As he puts it, “…I do not wish, to surrender to sex negativity and fear… thoughtful discussion of controversial topics is a cornerstone of learning.” Although his students find his approach to be groundbreaking and admirable, he seems to have gone a bit far on the afternoon of February 21st.
Prof. Bailey teaches a 600 person class on the science and psychology of sexuality. After class, he often organizes “optional events” which provide the students with a more in-depth educational experience. This year alone he has had guest speakers such as, “a panel of gay men speaking about their sex lives, a transsexual performer, two convicted sex offenders, an expert in female sexual health and sexual pleasure, a plastic surgeon, a swinging couple” and others. After his February 21st lecture, which was focused on female arousal, Bailey invited his students to stay for an optional presentation by Ken Melvoin-Berg. The presentation was to continue the scientific conversation of female orgasm and dig further into sexual diversity, which seems to be a gentler way of saying kinky sex. The students were told what to expect and were asked, numerous times, to leave if they felt uncomfortable or did not want to witness the graphic presentation.
Most of the presentation consisted of a question and answer discussion between the panel and the students. It all sounds rather innocent. Then comes the fun part, or rather, the disturbing part depending on how you look at it: one of the women stripped down to her bra and pleasured herself with a machine. Jim Marcus, one of the two sex toy demonstrators, said that their intention was not to arouse the students but rather to educate them. The exact details of the demonstration are too explicit for me to recount, but the information is easy to find.
Morton Schapiro, President of Northwestern University, says “I feel it represented extremely poor judgment on the part of our faculty member. I simply do not believe this was appropriate, necessary or in keeping with Northwestern University’s academic mission.” Professor Bailey responded to the criticism with, “The demonstration, which included a woman who enjoyed providing a sexually explicit demonstration using a machine, surely counts as kinky, and hence is relevant,” and “I certainly have no regrets concerning Northwestern students, who have demonstrated that they are open-minded grown ups rather than fragile children.” However, he has since apologized for offending anyone and tainting the image that Northwestern wishes to uphold.
Via: The Huffington Post and The Daily Northwestern