Man, I need to go back to college!
February 19, 2002 11:23 AM   Subscribe

Man, I need to go back to college! Berkeley students go to strip clubs and play "The Match Game" in a male sexuality class.
posted by MikeB (15 comments total)
Although very colorful, it seems like the best way to de-mystify these things (Strip Clubs! Porn!) is to go and check them out.

The Female class seems esp good. Although maybe the Male class might more realistically be called Sex Positive Attitudes particuarly since it is about equal male and female and covers topics pertinent to both sexes.
posted by Red58 at 11:42 AM on February 19, 2002

posted by aaronshaf at 11:51 AM on February 19, 2002

I suspect that Aaron is right but probably for many of the wrong reasons. Personally, I would like to see a little bit more to the pornography debate than just "it is OK to look at pornography."
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:54 AM on February 19, 2002

Why isn't there a "human sexuality" class, rather than a male one - desribed as pornwatching, genitalia photographing, and a female one, described as touching on topics that belongs in biology and uh.. pornwatching? Why not slam both classes together? Ops.
KirkJobsluder has apoint.
posted by dabitch at 11:56 AM on February 19, 2002

Party-goers could go into the bathroom and take anonymous Polaroids of their genitalia and then place them in a box. Later, people at the party would try to match the Polaroids with the person.

Oh dear. Hehe.
posted by adampsyche at 11:59 AM on February 19, 2002

Well since the course covers an entire semester and we haven't seen the syllabus, it's rather presumptuous to call it trash or to say that it doesn't cover the porn debate sufficiently.

And the Female class is most likely NOT trash, based on the desciption provided. Again, since I haven't sat in the class or seen the syllabus, I can't be certain.

But it cannot be dismissed out of hand, based on a short article.
posted by Red58 at 11:59 AM on February 19, 2002

Try reconciling these two statements:

“In the class we don't say anything is right or wrong," said Janssen. Rather than provide answers for students, he said the class provides a forum for discussion.

* * *

The purpose of teaching pornography in the class is to tell students that it is OK to watch porn, said Brodsky.

(fwiw, my problem isn't with the second statement, it's with the first -- it's fine if you're going to run this class, just don't try to pretend you're not advancing a point of view)
posted by pardonyou? at 12:15 PM on February 19, 2002

Puts a new spin on hands-on learning, in-class demos, group projects, and all-nighters, doesn't it?
posted by mosspink at 12:21 PM on February 19, 2002

pardonyou? those quotes are describing two different courses. The first is about the Male Sexuality class. The second is aobut the Female Sexuality class. Reconciling isn't required.

As to the first, I thought that was the goal of university classes - to teach students to think for themselves, not to give out moralizing fixed answers.

As to the second, it seems that might be a good goal for some women, not to classify all porn as trash.
posted by Red58 at 1:21 PM on February 19, 2002

red58, I noticed that difference and was going to point it out, but then I thought: Why should that make a difference? Maybe that is the only explanation, but that would be a lame explanation.
posted by pardonyou? at 1:24 PM on February 19, 2002

It makes a difference because of the intended audience.

The article makes clear that the Female class has been in existence for several years, but that the Male class is newer. I would guess the Male class was created in response to the female class and thus, IMO, inaccurately named.

Two different people, explaining two different classes.

But, I still hold that it is the POINT of university classes to teach students to think for themselves and to provide a forum for discussion.

I think these classes should have controls, ensure people are physically safe, and feel that they are in a safe environment where they can say 'No' to activities they don't like.

Sex is still generally treated like a bad boy/bad girl giggle-behind-the- doors-topic, as we have seen from some posts here. I hope we can see more sex-positive options in the future.
posted by Red58 at 1:38 PM on February 19, 2002

I took this class. It's tough. The oral exam was a killer.
posted by quercus at 2:15 PM on February 19, 2002

I took a human sexuality class in college, more or less as outlined above. It covered a whole spectrum of topics, potentially touchy and otherwise. Prostitution, masturbation, pornography's role in relationships, the cultural significance of phallic worship in some civilizations, STD transmissions, how different genders physiologically respond to the sight of babies - you name it, it was in there. Had a guest lecture from a panel of transgendered individuals at one point, if memory serves. Enlightening stuff.

Anyhow, the class was very popular, very evenly balanced between the genders, and respectfulness ran high, dinnertime quips about "I wish that class had a lab!" notwithstanding. It's not as radical as the classes outlined in the link, obviously, but co-ed college classes roughly along these lines can and do exist and thrive.
posted by youhas at 4:21 PM on February 19, 2002

Well, you don't need to worry about it any more.
posted by kfury at 4:44 PM on February 19, 2002

I'd say the "student-run" courses at Cal are just that-- run by college students. What'd you expect? Intellectual discussion?
posted by Down10 at 11:34 AM on February 20, 2002

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