Ill. Prof. apologizes for sex-toy demonstration

AP News

3/5/2011 3:51:33 PM - AP News

A Northwestern University professor apologized Saturday for letting a couple demonstrate the use of a sex toy after one of his classes, but he said he still sees "absolutely no harm" in what happened.

Psychology professor J. Michael Bailey said he regrets hurting Northwestern's reputation and "upsetting so many people in this particular manner. I apologize."

The incident took place Feb. 21. After a class on human sexuality, Bailey invited students to stay for a discussion of sexual fetishes. He repeatedly warned that it would be graphic.

The discussion included a woman who stripped and allowed her partner to use a sex toy on her.

In a statement, Bailey said he had never before allowed something like that and would never allow it again.

"During a time of financial crisis, war, and global warming, this story has been a top news story for more than two days," Bailey said. "That this is so reveals a stark difference of opinion between people like me, who see absolutely no harm in what happened, and those who believe that it was profoundly wrong."

Initially, Northwestern defended the demonstration. Then President Morton Schapiro said he was troubled and disappointed by the incident and promised an investigation.

Many alumni and parents have also condemned it.

Bailey said critics have not made a compelling case. He said he would give them an "F" if he were grading their arguments.

"Offense and anger are not arguments," he wrote. "But I remain open to hearing and reading good arguments."

About 100 students attended the after-class, optional seminar on fetishes.