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Marquette University Cancels ‘FemSex’ Workshop Again

Marquette University

Matthew Archbold - published on 09/19/13

The University Honors Program at Marquette University has revoked its sponsorship of FemSex again, a weekly student workshop on female sexuality.

The University Honors Program at Marquette University has revoked its sponsorship of FemSex, a weekly student workshop on female sexuality that sparked outrage from students and alumni, according to The Marquette Tribune.

This is the second time the scandalous workshop was cancelled in the past year at the Jesuit university in Milwaukee. The program was initially sponsored by the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, but after reports by The Cardinal Newman Society and others brought this scandal to light in February, it was cancelled.

Earlier this month however, the University Honors Program announced it would be reviving the workshop. But after The Cardinal Newman Society and others reported the scandal, it’s cancelled again. The University reportedly released a statement, saying, “Following a discussion with the program about academic sponsorship, including the requirement of faculty presence, the program chose not to continue sponsoring the Female Sexuality workshop.”

It also stated that “changes were needed to align with Catholic teaching.”

Amelia Zurcher, a professor of English and director of the Honors Program, defended the workshop in the Tribune last week, saying that she believed that the workshop “empowers (participants) to understand, respect and appreciate their own sexuality and use it in just and healthy ways.”

The syllabus posted online states plainly, “FemSex encourages exploration of identities, boundaries, desires, experiences, power and privilege. Through group discussions, activities, and individual exercises, the workshop explores what it means to take ownership of one’s own sexuality, body, pleasure, language and education.”

Week 2 of the workshop, according to the syllabus, would have had students discussing, “How many slang words do you know to describe female anatomy?”

Week 8’s workshop was called “Masturbation, Orgasm and Pleasure” and stated, “we will discuss masturbation and orgasm in a safe space, making room for all experiences. We will also discuss the idea of self-love and both negative and positive views of masturbation.  We will ask questions, share experiences, and generate ideas for technique.”

Originally published by The Cardinal Newman Society's Catholic Education Daily on 18 September 2013.

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