BY CHARESSE JAMES
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When students register for a course on human sexuality, it’s understood they’re going to see some adult content. But for more than 100 Northwestern University students, the content was a bit more graphic than expected.
In an optional, after-class lecture more than a week ago, students witnessed a live sex act involving a motorized sex toy as part of a presentation on fetishes. The controversial demonstration was followed with an uproar by parents -- and a wave of criticism of the professor and the University.
While the students who attended the controversial lecture had no official complaints, WBBM reports parents and other students were not particularly pleased by the demonstration.
Kristyn Hartman: “An angry Northwestern parent, who called CBS 2, isn’t happy about the demonstration. She questions its educational value and wants the professor fired. Not all students endorse the demo either.”
STUDENT: “I don’t feel like I would want to see that.”
The guest lecture, led by members of Chicago’s fetish community, was originally supposed to be a discussion only. But the guests decided on the day of the lecture to include a demonstration. The professor, John Michael Bailey, said in a press release all students were warned multiple times of the graphic nature the discussion and again before the demonstration took place.
But as NBC found out -- some students were still caught off guard.
REPORTER: “It was here at the Technological Institute where, during the session, they witnessed a live demonstration of a sex act involving a naked woman and a sex toy.”
PRATIK SHAH, STUDENT: “The prior warning that was given, I don’t think was strong enough I think to prepare the students for that.”
VICTOR SICLOVAN, STUDENT: “When would you ever think you would ever see something like this in an academic environment?”
And some sexuality experts don’t believe it was suitable for a college campus. Dr. Judy Kuriansky told FoxNews.com...
“I don't think it was appropriate. This goes for, really, the shock value more than the educational value. ... Talking about it can show you just as much."
Northwestern University originally defended the live sex demonstration and the course’s professor. In a statement released to the Chicago Sun-Times, the vice president of University Relations said...
“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. The University supports the efforts of its faculty to further the advancement of knowledge.”
Since releasing that statement on Monday, Northwestern University president, Morton Schapiro, announced an investigation into the on-campus presentation. But Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass wants to know how it ever happened in the first place.
“It makes me wonder, if this kind of thing is done at a great university, then how far can we define deviancy down? If this bizarre peep show can be offered up as higher education, then what’s the next ‘edgy’ thing? How do you get any edgier? Don’t tell me. I don’t want to know.”
So what do you think? How far is too far?
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Transcript by Newsy