Penn State professor challenges straight students in his sociology class to ‘watch gay porn’

Penn State professor tells straight students in his sociology class to ‘watch gay porn’ because ‘we are all at some level nonbinary and very easily bisexual’

  • Penn State professor Sam Richards aired the challenge to students during a lecture for his entry level sociology class in December – and was met with silence
  • The awkward exchange came during a discussion billed on Richards’ syllabus as ‘A Conversation on Trans Issues, TERFS, and The Binary’
  • Footage of the lesson – which was recorded live and subsequently posted to Richards’ YouTube channel – has since stirred up sentiments of outrage
  • The stream, posted on December 6, has since been made private

An American college professor has come under fire for telling straight students to watch gay porn to understand new sides to their sexuality.

Penn State professor Sam Richards aired the challenge to students during a lecture for his entry level sociology class in December – and was reportedly met with silence in response.

The awkward exchange came during a discussion billed on Richards’ syllabus as ‘A Conversation on Trans Issues, TERFS, and The Binary.’

Footage of the lesson – which was recorded live and posted to Richards’ YouTube channel – has since stirred up sentiments of outrage from onlookers online. The stream has since been made private.

The school, meanwhile, is standing by its staffer’s statements, telling DailyMail.com Thursday that ‘academic freedom for faculty’ is necessary to achieve ‘critical thinking and discussion’ within its student body.

Penn State professor Sam Richards aired the challenge to students during a lecture for his entry level sociology class in December - and was reportedly met with silence in response

Penn State professor Sam Richards aired the challenge to students during a lecture for his entry level sociology class in December – and was reportedly met with silence in response

Footage of the lesson - which was recorded live and posted to Richards' YouTube channel - has since stirred up outrage from onlookers online. The stream has since been made private

Footage of the lesson – which was recorded live and posted to Richards’ YouTube channel – has since stirred up outrage from onlookers online. The stream has since been made private

The problematic excerpt from the lesson – which, according to the now private video, was delivered on December 6 – begins with Richards, 62, addressing the ‘straight folks’ in his gender and culture class, which is the largest of its kind in the country.

‘If you’re straight, watch gay or lesbian porn and see how quickly you feel aroused – and how you can’t control that,’ Richards reportedly asked in the clip, which was viewed by Fox News. 

Singling out his male students – ‘especially men,’ as the professor puts it in the clip – Richards explained: ‘You’ll realize that, “Oh, d**n, I could be sexualized by people who are like me.”‘ 

Richards – who has won several awards over the course of his 32-year career at the taxpayer-funded school – went on to assert that ‘we are all at some level nonbinary’ and ‘very much’ bisexual.

Reportedly met with a wall of silence from the 700 or so students present, the professor continued to prod those in attendance with his theory – billing it as a common consensus among certain ‘sociologists.’

‘I might have hit a nerve there. Did I hit a nerve?’ the professor reportedly asked after reading the room.

The awkward exchange came during a discussion billed on Richards' syllabus as 'A Conversation on Trans Issues, TERFS, and The Binary.' The school says that the course every semester reaches its cap of 725 students and is 'the largest race and ethnic relations course in the country'

The awkward exchange came during a discussion billed on Richards’ syllabus as ‘A Conversation on Trans Issues, TERFS, and The Binary.’ The school says that the course every semester reaches its cap of 725 students and is ‘the largest race and ethnic relations course in the country’

At that point in the lesson, Richards again addressed straight students in the lecture hall – ‘especially men.’

‘Watch gay porn. See if you feel that feeling,’ the professor said in the clip – reportedly over students’ stifled laughter.

The instructor, according to Fox, proceeded to tell students to embrace feelings of homosexuality while viewing the material, calling them a commonality of the entire male population, regardless of orientation.

‘If you feel that feeling, look in a mirror, and say: “Huh, maybe I’m just feeling some things that I’m just afraid to release,”‘ Richards reportedly told the class.

‘And maybe,’ he added, ‘you release that – and maybe you’d be surprised that maybe you actually are fine being more bisexual.’

During the discussion, Richards - who has won several awards over the course of his 32-year career at the taxpayer-funded school - told students that 'we are all at some level nonbinary' and 'very much' bisexual

During the discussion, Richards – who has won several awards over the course of his 32-year career at the taxpayer-funded school – told students that ‘we are all at some level nonbinary’ and ‘very much’ bisexual

During that same class, the professor – whose other lessons encompass topics such as homosexuality in the Middle East and affirmative action – recounted a story about one of his former students who transitioned to a different gender.

The tenured instructor also offered advice to female students on how to urinate standing up. 

‘Women, you should know this by the way,’ Richards reportedly said during the lesson, calling the method – which involves using a piece of leather as a makeshift funnel – ‘the little trick.’

‘You can have a little piece of leather and fold it up and use that to go in the urinal or go outside,’ the teacher reportedly said.

The contents of rest of the day’s discussion included Richards’ preconceived notions regarding the two biological sexes, and widespread fluidity between them.

The course – titled Race, Ethnicity and Culture – is extremely popular, according to a description offered on Penn State’s website.

The school writes that the course every semester reaches its cap of 725 students and is ‘the largest race and ethnic relations course in the country.’

Brass at the state school – which received funding from money collected from Pennsylvania taxpayers –  further write that students ‘in that room they have the opportunity to re-examine the world and challenge what they believe to be their place in it from a new perspective’.

Richards' course - titled Race, Ethnicity and Culture course - each year reaches its maximum capacity of 725 students and is billed by the state-funded school as 'the largest race and ethnic relations course in the country'

Richards’ course – titled Race, Ethnicity and Culture course – each year reaches its maximum capacity of 725 students and is billed by the state-funded school as ‘the largest race and ethnic relations course in the country’

Richards did not immediately return a DailyMail.com request for comment.

The school, however, responded to the controversy earlier this week, as reports of the lesson made its way across social media.

At some point during the backlash – which saw one Twitter label Richards ‘psychotic’ while conceding that ‘liberals love him’ – the livestream of the lecture was set to private. All other lectures posted on Richard’s channel are public. 

‘Professor Richards purposefully teaches in a manner designed to promote discussion across a spectrum of opinions,’ Penn State brass wrote in their official response to the backlash.

The school has since defended the professor's statements, saying that the 'class is not mandatory but is a popular elective that students choose to join'

The school has since defended the professor’s statements, saying that the ‘class is not mandatory but is a popular elective that students choose to join’

A school spokesperson added that the ‘class is not mandatory but is a popular elective that students choose to join.’

It was not clear from the university’s response if staffers supported some of the statements the tenured professor had made during the December lecture. 

The school added earlier in the week ‘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.’ 

DailyMail.com reached out for further clarification on its stance on the controversy Thursday afternoon. 

It was not clear from a response from the university whether staffers actually supported some of the statements made by the tenured professor, who has worked at the school for 32 years

It was not clear from a response from the university whether staffers actually supported some of the statements made by the tenured professor, who has worked at the school for 32 years

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