A woman taking a human sexuality course has filed a lawsuit claiming she was required to masturbate, keep detailed sex journals, reveal her fetishes and if she had been sexually abused – or she would not pass the class.
Karen Royce, 60, who took the class in Western Nevada College filed the suit on June 25 against class instructor Tom Kubistant, department chairman Robert Morin and college president Carol Lucey.
She claimed the class assignments were invasive and constituted sexual harassment.
According to ABC,her lawyer Ken McKenna said: ‘Not only was she shocked by the assignments [and] the personal inquiries, but she herself had been a victim of sexual abuse.
‘One of his requests was that people put in writing if they’d had sexual-abuse experiences. How the authorities for this college could allow this man to conduct his class in this fashion and in effect say that’s OK with us is so outrageous it’s beyond belief.’
Ms Royce took the class because she wanted to pursue a career in social work and believed the course would help her to ‘gain knowledge as to psychological theories of human sexuality,’ which she believed were ‘pertinent and necessary in excelling as a social worker’, according to the suit.
She said she was not made aware that such intimate details about her own sex life would have to be revealed in order to pass the class.
Students did have to sign a waiver however which acknowledged the course’s graphic content.
Ms Royce said Mr Kubistant required students to double the number of times they masturbate each week and keep a journal, which they had to submit to him.
She told KRNV: ‘I raised my hand and said, “I don’t masturbate”. He said I had to do it at least three times in order to get a grade in the class.’
‘Victim’: Karen Royce filed the lawsuit claiming what she was asked to do in the course was tantamount to sexual harassment
The lawsuit also states that Mr Kubistant locked the door once the class started which he claimed was to bar latecomers.
He then asked the students to compile lists about different types of sex and sexual positions, which he read aloud to the class before assigning homework – three 250-word journal entries detailing each student’s sexual thoughts.
‘I raised my hand and said, “I don’t masturbate”. He said I had to do it at least three times in order to get a grade in the class’
He also told them about the final exam paper, which would be called A Sexual Case Study…You! in which they would have to describe aspects of their sex lives, sexual exploration, sexual abuse they experienced, promiscuity, masturbation and fetishes.
Ms Royce is believed to have tried to address her concerns with Mr Kubistant but they were ignored, according to the lawsuit. This was when she turned to school authorities.
Spokeswoman for Western Nevada College Anne Hansen told ABC that after reviewing the syllabus and interviewing students an investigator ‘found no evidence to support the student’s complaint of sexual harassment.
‘In fact, the investigator found that the instructor was considered to be an excellent and caring professor, who, with the exception of that one student, appeared to be universally admired by other students who had taken the course.’
Ms Royce dropped the course after four classes. After the Office of Civil Rights said they would not be pursuing the allegations any further, she decided to file the federal lawsuit.
Mr Kubistant did not reply to requests for comment. He continues to teach at the college.