Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Is human sexuality at Fresno State too sexy?


UPDATE: A few interesting follow-up links to share on this story, that’s really become more of a silly non-story.

The L.A. Times has written about it. Meanwhile, The Collegian at Fresno State put together the most comprehensive story on this that I’ve seen — getting the teacher to talk and clarifying that the whole thing was more of an “lol” moment for the anonymous student, who has since apologized to the teacher. Another student in the class had a letter published in The Bee today defending the teacher as well.

So just to recap: It sounds like the only person actually upset about this is conservative blogger/activist Oliver Darcy, who isn’t in the class, doesn’t attend Fresno State, isn’t even in the state and is jumping on his moral high-horse based on an “lol” tweet and an online synopsis. Way to go, Oliver. *eyeroll*

ORIGINAL POST, 4/17: The human sexuality class at Fresno State has ruffled the feathers of some conservative activists because of a video shown in class last week. The story went national, getting some words on The Huffington Post and the Glenn Beck-started website The Blaze. It was recently covered locally by The Bee’s Alex Tavilan.

From his story:

Peggy Gish, a longtime lecturer in the university’s Department of Public Health, showed a segment of the video “Advanced Sexual Techniques, Volume One” in her “Introduction to Human Sexuality” class.

Oliver Darcy, a University of California at Merced graduate and contributor to a Facebook page titled “Exposing Leftists,” posted a bulletin on the conservative university watchdog site about the film screening, citing the concerns of an unnamed Fresno State student who saw the film.

Darcy’s post quotes from the film’s synopsis, including: how the film “discusses how to increase your sexual knowledge, increase pleasure, and heighten intimacy. Twelve couples from different ethnic backgrounds take you on an explicit sexual journey that explores sexual positions and techniques.”

Later in the Bee story, Andrew Hoff, Fresno State’s dean of the College of Health and Human Services nature defended the video’s usage.

“Students who take the course are advised, in advance, that they may find some of the content objectionable and that they may opt out at their discretion,” Hoff said.

Darcy alleged that the film was a “pornographic, full-length film.” Hoff said what was shown in class was a 20-minute clip of a much longer DVD and was not pornographic in nature.

We’ve seen Darcy and his Exposing Leftists buds before. They were behind that video we posted last year of undercover young conservatives trying to make Fresno State students dumb on camera. In that context, this whole “controversy” makes a lot more sense.

It’s not like we’re talking about a high-school class here. This is a college elective that students — the vast majority of whom are adults, mind you — chose to take. So for an agenda-pushing activist to get wind of it secondhand and raise a stink on behalf of an anonymous student … well, it just seems kinda silly.

Anybody who thinks college students need to be shielded from pornography or have their hands held regarding sex is laughably naive about what actually happens on a university campus. Ever heard of this thing called the Internet?

But that’s not even really what’s happening here. This is a case of the hyper-offendable looking for a reason to be offended and the stink-raisers seizing an opportunity to raise a stink. One needn’t watch a how-to sex video to see that people are just trying to get themselves off here.

Responses to "Is human sexuality at Fresno State too sexy?"

Greg Thatcher says:

Ever heard of absexuality disorder? look it up. While It may be a stretch for DSM-V, it fits this to a tee.

Michael says:

I’m happy to know that the university backed the professor. Teachers at all levels do have academic freedom, and as a teacher myself, that is one right I will not give up.

I hope the student who complained understands that by persecuting those for their beliefs (i.e. academic freedom), goes against those fundamental liberties that make our country quite unique in the world.

David Paul Davenport says:

I, too Michael, am pleased that the university supports Academic Freedom. Too bad that not all post-secondary schools in Fresno don’t. Not long ago Brad Lopez, a human sexuality instructor at Fresno City College, was almost fired when he stated that homosexuality was unnatural and violates the Bible. Rather than support him because of Academic Freedom, the College censored him and took steps to fire him. Two weeks ago the man who as Dean of Instruction led the charge to fire Brad was named President of the College. Students at community colleges, regardless of age, are treated like children, not adults. My point is this: If you are 18 or older and want an adult education don’t whine about the course content. To paraphrase the Apostle Paul, “if you speak like a child you will be treated like one.”

Jess says:

I’ll start by saying that I’ve actually taken Human Sexuality at Fresno State, and I am most definitely not a prude. I’m also very much against censorship in general, and I’m one those heathen liberals Darcy probably doesn’t like.

But to play the devil’s advocate, when I took the course, the professor I had (not Gish) really pushed the limits of what was appropriate and/or educational. He even said at one point, “Ok class, next week we’re watching how-to videos, so bring your popcorn and Kleenex.” I thought it was funny, but it obviously made some students very uncomfortable. And the videos we watched (way too inappropriate to even give the titles here) had no educational value, unless your career goal is to become a prostitute and you need a leg up on the competition.

All that being said, there were some great class discussions, which was an excellent way to hear new points of view on topics that aren’t usually discussed outside of with your closest friends.

Over all though, it was mostly disappointing and awkward. I wouldn’t take the class again if I could do it over. My many (many, many) tuition dollars should’ve gone to something better.

I can definitely see where Darcy is coming from, and I feel like if you haven’t taken the class, you don’t really know what’s going on. Your opinions carry weight generally speaking, and I would agree with you normally, but in this specific instance, I feel like there’s more to it than what is (and can be) said in the media.

Alex says:

I can’t believe I missed this on Monday! Huge honor have a story featured on the Beehive (if I do my math correctly, this is my first!)

Thanks to the Blogfather!

Mark says:


Chris says:


Darcy is a second-hand informant for the leftist website that decided to plague us with this non-story. The actual student has remained anonymous through the whole process and did not have enough gumption to confront the professor, the department, or anyone else at the university about the video’s material. That in itself tells me plenty about the student that “reported” this nonsense: ill-informed, easily offended, and gutless.

That being said, Darcy’s knowledge of what went on in that classroom does not extend beyond what the student decided to complain about and share. His/her viewpoint, as one could tell, is obviously skewed and the “reactions” in the classroom (uncorroborated by anyone aside from “sources”) could be merely fabricated.

You made the statement that unless someone has taken the class, they really have no idea what’s going on in it. That’s throwing a blanket of generality on all Human Sexuality classes. Unless you were in the classroom or have seen the series of events unfold since then firsthand (and not through the Bee or any other medium), you have just as much idea as what’s going on as Darcy does.

Britt says:


The point isn’t that they showed a graphic adult film in class – although I don’t see why it was necessary.

The point is that it’s a state school! Why are tax payer dollars subsidizing classes like this when students aren’t being turn away due to budgetary restraints and other programs are being cut?

Think about it.

David Paul Davenport says:

I miswrote my second sentance which reads “Too bad that not all post-secondary schools in Fresno don’t.” It should say “Not all post-secondary schools in Fresno do.”

Michael says:

@Jess:per your 2nd paragraph: Agreed. We still do not know anything about this incident other than the student felt violated. What was the name of the video? We don’t get this as readers, we are only left with blanket statements that don’t leave us with much.

Mike Oz says:

But if there weren’t a demand for the class, if there weren’t enrollment, the class would just go away by natural selection, right? People chose to be there — so both in the case of the class and its content, that trumps all in my view.

If you’re trying to say that the classes a university offers should have to meet some sort of ideological standards because it’s a state school that’s subsidized, then that’s quite the slippery slope. I’m sure many would argue that classes in the arts don’t hold as much as value as others and therefore shouldn’t be offered.

Is that up to you? Or Oliver Darcy? Or should we just let students attend the classes they elect? Ya know, for the sake of freedom and all.

(Also: Methinks, Britt, you might want to brush up on a class in logic and critical thinking — because starting an argument by insulting your opposition isn’t a good strategy. That’s just one idiot’s point of view, though. Say hi to Oliver!)

Jessica says:

And why would a “student” be offended by depictions of sex in a sexuality class?

My BS radar is really ringing on this one. My guess is its run of the mill internet trolling.

Michael says:

In regards to the FCC professor, wouldn’t those statements be more relevant to a Biblical Studies or Theology class? While academic freedom is necessary, there has to be some regulation to ensure that the intended subject is taught. What if a math teacher inserted a 2 week seminar in filmmaking in his or her curriculum for example?

I’m pretty sure I went to Bullard High School with that fella. I remember him being very quiet. Hm.

As long as the class isn’t required, I don’t see why it should be offending anyone.

Jessica says:

Right! Why would a state school teach anything related to the facts of life? I mean really, what good does it do to teach people about your normal bodily functions and how it impacts your life? What’s next, proper nutrition?!?!?!

For the love of all that is red white and blue, why would anyone seeking an education want learn about the human body and its functions? Why? Why?

I blame Obama. :-P