On Campus

I was told to “masturbate or fail”

Human sexuality professor sued over explicit homework

Human sexuality classes are bound to make some students uncomfortable. There’s nothing wrong with that. But did this U.S. professor go too far?

Student Karen Royce, 60, certainly thinks so. She is suing instructor Tom Kubistant, Western Nevada College, and certain college officials after she dropped Kubistant’s course midway through. She says she was forced to drop because her instructor required students to masturbate or fail.

Royce says the problems began when Kubistant told students “that he will increase [the students’] sexual urges to such a height that they won’t be able to think about anything other than sex.”Later, she says the class was told they must masturbate twice as often as usual. After she refused, Royce says Kubistant “angrily” announced to the class that they would fail if they didn’t touch themselves. Other students interviewed during WNC’s own investigation dispute this claim.

Kubistant had students keep “sex journals.” Royce was uncomfortable that personal details of the journals were discussed in classes. She also wasn’t pleased that students were required to draw pictures of their vaginas indicating where they enjoyed being stimulated, or that they were shown a 90-minute video about female orgasms during class.

Adding insult to injury for Royce, the final exam assignment was called “A Sexual Case Study … You!” As a sexual abuse victim, she says she wasn’t willing to undergo a personal exploration.

Royce says she asked for alternate assignments, but Kubistant instead told her that the class was “not for her.” She withdrew in October after half a semester that included “crying at night.”

When Royce complained to school officials about the professor, they reminded her that she had signed a waiver at the beginning of the class acknowledging explicit material would be taught.

WNC’s Vice President for Human Resources and General Counsel Mark Ghan told Huffington Post that Kubistant had taught the course 20 times over seven years without other complaints.

Royce is seeking $75,000 in special damages, plus general damages.

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