Joseph Bernstein defends Northwestern professor J. Michael Bailey's class on human sexuality, which recently sparked controversy for featuring a live sex act. Bernstein remembers a panel of gay men talking to Bailey's class in 2005:
I simply didn’t know very many gay people when I was 20 years old, and I had a whole host of assumptions blasted by the commonsense, funny, sad answers provided by the men on the panel. There was a moment late in the demonstration when it became clear to the class that the removal of women from the sexual equation results in a lot more, well, sex. Someone asked the panel: “How many of you have had sex with each other?” The men, who ranged widely in age, looked at each other, and it was clear some major mental math was happening. All at once, the men on stage started just shaking with laughter, and the audience did too.
I didn’t leave the lecture hall changed in any fundamental way, except I knew a little bit more about the three or ten (depending on who you ask) percent of men who have sex with other men. I can say that no other professor’s class at Northwestern taught me that much about the way actual people live in the world.
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