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Sexual propaganda

What many moms and dads are paying for in higher education

“It is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret” (Ephesians 5:12). But what if they do them in the open? What if they do them in Room 206 of the campus Physical Education Center and are graded on them? And what if you’re footing the bill, Mom and Dad?

I borrowed 20-year-old Ella’s textbook and syllabus for her Human Sexuality class. Crooks and Baur, 12th edition—the hefty paperback costs $200, of which Ella will only recoup $12 at semester’s end—boasts ponderous double authorship, but the contents bear no resemblance to rigor of scholarship, notwithstanding a plethora of charts and graphs. 

A sample of sex “science”:

“Physical attractiveness often plays a dominant role in drawing lovers together.” “Jealousy is an uncomfortable feeling that often harms a relationship and stifles the pleasure of being together.” “Facial expressions of emotion are often a powerful component of nonverbal communication.”

Now from the banal to the blatantly propagandist: 

“The religious right in America has long labored to reinforce traditional gender roles through its efforts to shape American politics.” “Gender roles are a product of socialization.” “The teachings of Jesus emphasized love, compassion, and forgiveness … ‘Neither do I condemn thee.’” “Homophobia can be best thought of as a prejudice similar to racism, anti-Semitism, or sexism.”

Here are Crooks and Baur as Bible experts:

“Beginning in the 7th century BCE, … Jewish religious leaders wanted to develop a distinct closed community. Homosexual activities were a part of the religious practices of many peoples in that era, and rejecting such practices was one way of keeping the Jewish religion unique.”

The painful 1991 Clarence Thomas–Anita Hill trial is resurrected as an example of workplace sexual harassment to punish the Supreme Court justice all over again—never mind that Thomas was found not guilty, a detail not included by Crooks and Baur.

The book has a chapter on “Guidelines for Coming Out to Friends,” photos of myriad sexual positions, and a table to educate you on the difference between fetishism, transvestic fetishism, sexual sadism, sexual masochism, autoerotic asphyxia, Klismophilia, Coprophilia and Urophilia, exhibitionism, voyeurism, frotteurism, zoophilia, and necophilia. Not a moral objection is raised to any of the above “sexual expressions.”

Remember the spelling lists your teacher gave you for homework? Ella’s list includes: “gender” (defined as a “psychological construct”), “excitement phase,” “plateau phase,” “orgasm,” and “resolution.” Remember multiple choice tests? Here is a sampler from Ella’s quizzes: “Which of the following is least likely to be a suggestion for maintaining sexual variety?”; “Which of the following is the best example of homophobia?”; “Masturbation has been recommended in your text for all except which of the following?”; “Which of the following best reflects current views toward homosexuality within Christianity?”

Ella’s Oct. 22 term paper is an “Experiential Paper” and the professor promises: “This paper is completely confidential. No one reads it except me! [That’s comforting.] Minimum length is four pages, double spaced. Pick a project that will challenge you.” Choices:

  • Interview someone whose sexuality is clearly different from yours. Find out about their sexual behavior and feelings.
  • Spend at least two hours in a gay male bar, a lesbian bar, a transgender bar, or a sexually oriented club. If you are having trouble finding one, you can search the internet.
  • Attend a Sexual Pleasure Workshop. Write about the experience.
  • Visit a sex or novelty shop. What was it like inside?

Ella’s Nov. 19 paper is a “Sexual History”: “Students will complete a sex history. Below are listed the components you will need to include in your history. Think about all of these components and write about EVERY SINGLE ONE, including your feelings about these events.” I scan down to the obligatory “components” and read: 

  • Early memories of sexual feelings and experimentation.
  • First sexual experience(s) with another person.
  • Your favorite sexual fantasies and how you feel about them.

In Cal Thomas’ What Works, the political commentator writes: “The question must be asked: why do so many parents who hold traditional views that worked for them and the country willingly and enthusiastically send their children to academic institutions that frequently undermine everything they believe? And pay for it, too? Is it because of the ‘prestige’ of these historic schools?”

Isn’t it time to stop kidding ourselves about the worth of faded sheepskin and “prestige”?

Email aseupeterson@wng.com

Comments

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  • Richard H's picture
    Richard H
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:25 pm

    The author asks:  Isn't it time to stop kidding ourselves about the worth of faded sheepskin and "prestige"? Another more important question to ask is:  Isn't it time Christians honor and glorify Christ in everything by not attending those institutions that denigrate truth such as humanist based public schools and universities?

  • Anonymous (not verified)
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:25 pm

    @MTJanet:  The consensus seems to be "Yes, but only sometimes."  And the end of the day it's an ROI calculation.  There are some college choices that make the answer, "No, college isn't worth it."  For instance, spending top dollar to attend a so-so university and ending up after four (or more) years with a ton of debt and a non-marketable degree.  But that's the extreme example.  Paying in-state tuition to attend a "flagship" state university and choosing a marketable degree? That will almost always be a "win".btw, I would be shocked if this class were a degree requirement, much less required of all students.

  • MTJanet
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:25 pm

    One thing Christian parents and their college-age children should be considering is if college is even worth it these days.  Yes, we had our three older kids go to college to get specific degrees that led to real jobs.  Our fourth is at a tech school, and he will come out miles ahead due to the low cost and comparable income level once through the training.  College is mostly garbage.  The game is to play it through for the credits, hope you don't go too deeply in debt, and come out on the other side with a real job.  This course is garbage, but there are so many others that deserve the same  condemnation.  Maybe it will help once more college courses are offered online, and we can get more competition going to reduce the insane cost of obtaining a college degree.   

  • jclark53
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:25 pm

    If this is a required class I would protest vehemently. If it's part of a degree, I would still protest based on the text presenting opinion and only one viewpoint as absolute truth instead of one opinion. However, I'd probably get further with the school by objecting to what seems to me to be an invasion of privacy and borders on voyeurism: "Ella's Nov. 19 paper is a "Sexual History"" and the required private information to be shared publicly. Public does not have to mean with the entire class. Even if it shared with just one person, the professor, it is no longer private. Surely there is some law that protects students from this requirement, and if not, there should be. 

  • Anonymous (not verified)
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:25 pm

    @RichardH: "Unclear???"Yes, unclear.  Consider this paragraph:Just consider some of the anti-semitic propaganda invoked against Jews:  that they kidnap gentile women and drink their blood, that they worship Satan, that they are in fact disguised Martians here to take over the planet, and that they remove the fore skin of their male children in a ritualistic ceremony!Based on the majority of obviously false claims one might read this paragraph and assume that the author's intent was to present it as a list of things Jews are accused of that are objectively false.  Only that would be a bad assumption, since the last one is, in fact, true.@AlinNC:  "I 'assume' that you subscribe to moral relativism, and that you are not a Christian that believes the Bible is God's truth."Neither of those is the case.  I'm a believer who regards the Bible as God's revelation of truth.  I recognize an universal, objective moral reality."Otherwise, the content in this course and the student assignments would concern you more than a mere reflection of the school's ideology."That doesn't follow.  Look, we live in a hopelessly fallen world in which terrible, terrible things happen every day.  Babies are aborted.  Little girls are raped.  People are kidnapped and cut into pieces.  In the pantheon of things to be outraged about, that some students should choose to be taught a corrupted vision of human sexuality (that they largely already agree with) doesn't rate high on my list.To add, even if I were supremely outraged about the content of this course I probably wouldn't comment to that effect.  I rarely comment on columns where I'm in full agreement with the author.  Why?  Because there's nothing to discuss.  They nailed it and there's nothing else to say.  So, typically, when I respond to a blog post or opinion piece is because I see something that is factually incorrect, that is logically inconsistent within the author's own worldview, or that I strongly disagree with."I find the class to be objectively ridiculous."For what it's worth, I suspect there are a fair number of non-believers who would also find it silly and ridiculous.

  • WORLD User 94453
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:25 pm

    @buddyglass:  Your comments demonstrate clearly that one's worldview matters.  A lot.  I "assume" that you subscribe to moral relativism, and that you are not a Christian that believes the Bible is God's truth.  Otherwise, the content in this course and the student assignments would concern you more than a mere reflection of the school's ideology.   As a believer, I find the class to be objectively ridiculous.  It's intentionally pushing an anti-Christian message and has an agenda to break down all moral standards regarding sex, while invading the students' privacy.  I'm not bashing you.  Just noting that we have very different worldviews.  I appreciate your civil and respectful  tone of discourse.

  • Anonymous (not verified)
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:25 pm

    First we must be tolerant then we must be wholeheartedly accepting then we must promote. That is the plan for us by the homosexual / deviant crowd. I wonder what kind of grade Ella would have received if she had written a paper defending or advocating for abstinence and the sacredness of the marriage bed? 

  • Richard H's picture
    Richard H
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:25 pm

    Unclear???  I believe there is a marked difference between these two sentences:"Now from the banal to the blatantly propagandist:"  AND  "Now from the banal to the blatantly false:" ?

  • Anonymous (not verified)
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:25 pm

    "No, she does not.  She doesn't portray it as false."I'll give you that its unclear.  The one statement is mixed in with others that, from Andrée's perspective, are objectively false.  That made me it seem as if the whole bundle of statements were presented as being objectively false."You don't seem to see the course content and assignments as anything to be concerned about."That's assuming too much.  My take is that the book is slanted to advance a particular ideological view.  One that is largely incorrect.  Depending on which school is offering the class it may or may not be inappropriate to choose a textbook that that's ideologically slanted.  So it's concerning, but In the grand scheme of things there are plenty of things I'm <i>more</i> concerned about.

  • GTPman
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:25 pm

    Jesus warned His followers to keep watch until He suddenly appears and this article is the call of a watchmen looking out to what may threaten the city of God.  Advance awareness is the first step to defense.  Of course, we are already aware of the intrusion of sexual license into "academia" under the guise of the "science of sexuality" through the work of Kinsey.  We are seeing an acceleration of such perversion masquerading as science as Andre points out.  I believe that the invitation to "experiment" and "explore" the sexuality of ourselves and others is simply the invitation to dispense with self-control.  Self-control is the virtue of assessing our impulses according to moral categories and checking tendencies to violations of those categories.  Self-control, as a fruit of the Spirit, is a necessary concomitant to recognizing that we are all like sheep that go astray, that we truly need a good shepherd.  David freely admits to his Lord, "I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant, for I do not forget your commandments."  Self-control is born of an apprehension of not simply human limitation but of our moral defection that permeates our whole nature.  What we are called to is a humble reliance upon God, fully aware of those casuistries of sin that breach resolve.  "A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls."  Unfortunately, as followers of Christ much of our weariness in this age is resisting subtle impulses within and sinuous invitations without.  Our real burden is not the encroachments of age and disability but the sin crouching at the door of our tents.  What we are looking for is a new city and a new nature.  Until then let us encourage one another while it is still day for the night is fast approaching.

  • WORLD User 94453
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:25 pm

    "The author portrays the book's statement about the religious right seeking to enforce traditional gender roles by shaping politics as if it were false, though.  Propaganda."  No, she does not.  She doesn't portray it as false.  She is noting that the textbook statement itself is propaganda, in it's insinuation that the Right has bad intentions or is doing something wrong simply by seeking to propagate it's values through the political process (and by omitting to state that the Left does the same).  Read the rest of that paragraph.  The textbook is clearly implying that the Right (and Christians, specifically) is not compassionate, is unforgiving, condemning, homophobic, etc."What about it?"  Ditto with Neil Evans.  I guess we don't have much to discuss on this point.  You don't seem to see the course content and assignments as anything to be concerned about.

  •  Neil Evans's picture
    Neil Evans
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:25 pm

    buddyglass, "What about it?"I think AlinNC is asking if you condone it, or condemn it.  Do you believe it is a good thing or bad thing?Your initial response sounded more concerned about the reporting of the class content than about the content itself.We obviously live in a culture in which many people believe the content of the class is appropriate.I think AlinNC is simply asking where you stand on this issue.

  • Anonymous (not verified)
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:25 pm

    "Well the Left in this country does the exact same thing."I never said they didn't.  The author portrays the book's statement about the religious right seeking to enforce traditional gender roles by shaping politics as if it were false, though.  Propaganda.  To me, it seems pretty accurate.  If so then you shouldn't criticize the book on that specific count for calling a spade a spade."What about the stomach-churning and morally depraved nonsense that this college course is teaching?"What about it?

  • WORLD User 94453
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:25 pm

    @buddyglass:  My guess is that the $200 book cost is the university bookstore price.  But really......That's your focus and all you have to comment on?  Or your comment on the fact that the religious Right tries to shape politics?  Well the Left in this country does the exact same thing.  That's life in any country or any form of govt on planet Earth.  All interest or ideological groups attempt to influence politics.  But the implication from the textbook is that the Right is up to some under-handed or unfair trick.  What about the stomach-churning and morally depraved nonsense that this college course is teaching?  Or the invasion of the students' right to privacy in these absurd assignments?  

  •  Neil Evans's picture
    Neil Evans
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:25 pm

    If the books were sold for what they are worth they would be sold after a divorce at a yard sale on the 25 cent table.If the books were sold for what they cost in personal and cultural heartache they would cost billions.

  •  Neil Evans's picture
    Neil Evans
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:25 pm

    We live in a culture that lives as if there is no such thing as bad consequences.  And when bad things happen they are viewed as not the consequence of bad personal choices and behaviors but of the failures of others.  The ultimate bad consequence of Hell is viewed as either the unfair judgment of a hostile god or the imagined vengeance of judgmental and self-righteous Christians.   Human beings don't seem to readily learn from the bad consequences of others.  Some of those students will call out to God for rescue when their licentious lives fall apart.  Others will never repent.  (Which is the eternal contention of Hell)  Universities (and the licentious children of wrath that imagine they lead them) will change when the dollars dry up from either a non-buying clientele or a culture in collapsed ruin.  Lord, bring on the consequences!  Some of the people You love will accept responsibility for the condition of their lives and turn to You for rescue.  May those of us whom You have saved live and tell our stories boldly.  While many will laugh and ridicule, some will gladly listen and enjoy the consequences of their Spirit led repentance.

  • Anonymous (not verified)
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:25 pm

    "The religious right in America has long labored to reinforce traditional gender roles through its efforts to shape American politics."Is that not true?btw, the textbook cost/resale numbers are somewhat exaggerated.  Here is the Amazon listing:http://www.amazon.com/Our-Sexuality-Robert-L-Crooks/dp/1133943411$162 new or $142 used (including shipping).  Plus, apparently you can sell it back to Amazon for a $127 gift card.

  • Dean from Ohio
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:25 pm

    Unfortunately, those who have taken over the turf of sexual discussions in universities are often among its most dysfunctional members. The voyeurism of the professor in creating the assignments you describe should be called what it is: sexual harassment and exploitation. The response to such requests for fresh pornography should be one simple response: "None of your business." I've even heard that at some colleges, freshman introduction has included mandatory attendance at screenings of pornographic "diversity" videos. During the screening, sexual predators on the staff watch for reactions to see who might be vulnerable to sexual advances. Ella and her classmates should beware.The scriptural admonition that sex should stay within marriage and never shared with strangers was never more relevant:Drink water from your own cistern/flowing water from your own well./Should your springs be scattered abroad,/ streams of water in the streets?/Let them be for yourself alone,/and not for strangers with you. - Proverbs 3:15-17 (ESV)Perhaps Ella could offer a creative alternative: write a fictionalized, edgy but non-explicit account of coming of age, loss and redemption experienced by Gomer, wife of the biblical prophet Hosea. She could change the names to Jose and Godalupe, for example, and place it a Mexican-American cultural setting.

  • Christian_Prof
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:25 pm

    Ugh. Revolting. Propagandizing worldview indeed. This University (and it's sicko Prof) MUST "come out of the closet."

  • Sawgunner's picture
    Sawgunner
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:25 pm

    Critics in the past have lambasted Andree for penning essays often maligned as exercises in spiritual navel gazing. Where are those critics now?

  • Sawgunner's picture
    Sawgunner
    Posted: Mon, 04/11/2016 03:25 pm

    This school which Andree alluded to... does it have a board of trustees? Who oversees the dept this course is taught in and does this "prof" have tenure?  The real horror is the child is likely attending and accruing non-dischargeable in bankruptcy student debt.