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An anti-porn advocate and teacher decried a Northwestern University professor's in-class, live sex show as a "cheap shot" that displayed a blatant disregard for students' well-being.
Dr. Gail Dines, author of Pornland: How Porn has Hijacked our Sexuality, said Friday that human sexuality professor John Michael Bailey crossed the line as an educator last week by "turning his class into a live slideshow" with a real sexual act involving a woman, a man and a motorized device.
Her comments came a day after Northwestern University announced it would be investigating Bailey and his human sexuality class. Police in Evanston, Ill., say the school will determine if the sex act violated any local laws.
Dines, who is also a professor at Wheelock College in Boston, said that educators have a responsibility to engage students academically by encouraging discourse, introducing them to intellectual ideas and inspiring them to think critically. However, Dines believes that Bailey took the easy way out by engaging them with the sex display.
Furthermore, Dines accused Bailey of simply pandering to his students' curiosity. "This is a cheap shot to try to endear himself to the students ...Of course 18 to 22 year olds are going to find that interesting," she lamented.
Bailey, a tenured faculty member, held a panel discussion in class on bondage, swinging, and other sexual fetishes when a couple, identified as Faith Kroll and her fiancé Jim Marcus, asked if they could demonstrate. Bailey invited students to attend the voluntary, after class live demonstration, explaining that it would be explicit and graphic in nature. About 100 of the 567 students stayed to witness the presentation with the sex toy.
Reportedly, Kroll undressed and went on stage and then Marcus used the motorized device on her.
The Christian Post tried unsuccessfully to contact Ken Melvoin-Berg, the lecturer and co-owner of a business called Weird Chicago Tours. The touring company regularly takes customers on red light district tours and describes itself as the only company to "offer spirits, sin, sex and scandals."
Melvoin-Berg had told the Wall Street Journal that he generally receives between $300 and $500 from Northwestern University for his guest appearances as a sexpert. He also told the publication that Kroll and Marcus were his friends.
Dines, however, denounced the act, saying it reinforces the hypersexual culture created by pornography and that it amounts to an abuse of the students.
Bailey attempted to defend his actions in a statement to FOXNews: "The demonstration, which included a woman who enjoyed providing a sexually explicit demonstration using a machine, surely counts as kinky, and hence, as relevant," he said.
"Furthermore, earlier that day in my lecture I had talked about the attempts to silence sex research, and how this largely reflected sex negativity ... I did not wish, and I do not wish, to surrender to sex negativity and fear."
Officials at Northwestern University initially supported Bailey and his class.
"The university supports the efforts of its faculty to further the advancement of knowledge," a Northwestern spokesman said earlier this week. "Northwestern University faculty members engage in teaching and research on a wide variety of topics, some of them controversial."
But as the controversy surrounding the incident grew, university President Morton Schapiro said in a statement Thursday, "I feel it represented extremely poor judgment on the part of our faculty member."
“I am troubled and disappointed by what occurred,” he said. “I simply do not believe this was appropriate, necessary or in keeping with Northwestern University’s academic mission.”
The Christian Post left a message with the university to inquire about the nature of its investigation of Bailey’s class, but no response was made by the end of the business day.