Penn State professor slammed for encouraging students to watch gay porn

Richards suggested that watching gay porn could serve as a way for individuals to confront the potential of their own bisexual feelings and potentially become more comfortable with their own sexuality.

Penn State professor slammed for encouraging students to watch gay porn
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A Penn State University professor is facing criticism over his instruction to his class that straight students should watch gay porn to explore their sexuality.

During a lecture in his Sociology 119 course, professor Sam Richards encouraged his students to consider the complexity of human sexuality. Richards suggested that watching gay porn could serve as a way for individuals to confront the potential of their own bisexual feelings and potentially become more comfortable with their own sexuality.

“If you're straight, watch gay or lesbian porn and see how quickly you feel aroused,” he said in the lecture, which was held on December 6. “And how you can't control that. You'll realize that, 'Oh, d***, I could be sexualized by people who are like me.'”

“We are all at some level nonbinary,” Richards said, referencing what he called a popular view of many sociologists. “We're all, very much, easily bisexual.”

It isn’t clear what research Richards was referencing, but a 2015 study conducted by researchers at Cornell University found that both men and women were capable of being aroused by pornography of the same sex. The researchers posited that this may indicate that sexuality is not strictly limited.

A video of the lecture was posted on the SOC 119 channel on YouTube, but has since been made private.

In a statement to Campus Reform, Richards defended his lecture, saying “When I discuss these issues, I generally do so as a sociologist, since that shapes how I see the world. From this perspective, 'sexuality' is actually quite complex.”

Richards' SOC 119 course provides students the “opportunity to re-examine the world and challenge what they believe to be their place in it from a new perspective,” it says.

The page claims that the course is “the largest race and ethnic relations course in the country,” and praised by both students and faculty on both sides of the political spectrum.

In a statement to Fox News, Penn State defended the course, saying “Professor Richards purposefully teaches in a manner designed to promote discussion across a spectrum of opinions. His class is not mandatory but is a popular elective that students choose to join. Dr. Richards and his course colleagues take time to discuss opinions from many perspectives — from liberal to conservative — and delve into topics from different viewpoints to create conversation, challenge beliefs and encourage students to explore uncomfortable and complex topics.”

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  • By Ezra Levant

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