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After Controversy, Pasadena City College Instructor Drops Pornography Course


THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION.  AUGUST 1, 2013.  A Pasadena City College instructor has decided that he will not offer a course on pornography again in the near future amid pressure from the college and other criticism. The instructor, Hugo Schwyzer, had offered the course, which he called “Navigating Pornography,” twice at the college. He sparked a controversy on the campus this past spring by inviting James Deen, a prominent adult-film star who studied at the college, to give a public lecture. The college resisted, saying Mr. Schwyzer hadn’t followed the proper procedure to obtain a permit for the event. The lecture was later allowed to go forward, after it was moved to a classroom and limited to students enrolled in the course as well as some members of the news media. Mr. Schwyzer said he hopeds to one day offer the class again, or help someone else teach it.

Schwyzer said the pressure from PCC as well as online hatred he receives daily on social media because of his other writings on gender issues, have led him to the decision to no longer teach the class. That and an extramarital affair led him to take a step back and focus on his personal life, he said.

“I’m exhausted by threats and controversy,” Schwyzer said via email Wednesday. “I need a break.”