Weather Updates

Thrill is gone: Northwestern drops controversial sex class

The human sexuality class taught by Northwestern professor Michael J. Bailey (inset) was dropped from university's curriculum. A live sex

The human sexuality class taught by Northwestern professor Michael J. Bailey (inset) was dropped from the university's curriculum. A live sex demonstration took place after one of the classes in February. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

storyidforme: 11918189
tmspicid: 3901332
fileheaderid: 2072124

Updated: May 9, 2012 9:44AM

Northwestern University will no longer offer a popular course on human sexuality that made national news after the professor who taught the course allowed a live demonstration with a motorized sex toy.

The class, taught by Professor Michael Bailey, has been dropped from the psychology department’s curriculum next school year, chairman Dan McAdams told the Chicago Sun-Times on Monday.

“I did not make the decision,” Mc­Adams said. “It was made by the central administration, either the president or the provost.”

McAdams said the administration doesn’t typically choose which classes are offered, but the human sexuality class was a “pretty extraordinary case.”

After asking about the class’s future, he received an e-mail from the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences informing him not to offer it next semester.

Northwestern spokesman Alan Cubbage issued a written statement on the class but declined to answer questions.

“Courses in human sexuality are offered in a variety of academic departments in other universities, and Northwestern is reviewing how such a course best fits into the university’s curriculum,” Cubbage said in a statement. “At Northwestern University, the dean of a college/school has the right and responsibility to determine course assignments.”

After the live sex demonstration made national headlines, NU President Morton Schapiro at first supported the professor, only to later admonish him for exhibiting “extremely poor judgment.”

Bailey, who did not return requests for comment Monday, will continue to teach classes in statistics and psychopathology and other classes to be decided later, McAdams said.

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.