University offers 'erotics of childbirth' course

Butler University will offer a “Fifty Shades of Sex” class next semester. The class will discuss gender issues ranging from sex tourism and pornography to queer experiences and the “erotics of childbirth.”

The class is part of the Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies department.

Students at Butler University can learn about the “erotics of childbirth” next semester in a “Fifty Shades of Sex” class.

In a screenshot obtained by Campus Reform, Butler’s “Topics in Gender Studies” lecture course will “examine a diverse array of women’s sexualities and subcultures” by focusing on the body, community, and culture--otherwise called the “sites of desire” by the course description.

“The course begins by addressing the history of scientific control over women’s bodies and desires, tracing those narratives through ongoing debates over pornography, queer and transwomen’s experiences, and the erotics of childbirth,” the description reads.

The description also promises to “explore female sex tourism and sex work as evidence of the globalization of desire.” The class will also “examine the mainstream popularity of previously taboo sexual subcultures through texts like the Fifty Shades series.”

“It’s just shocking to me that we don’t have money to replace the lead pipes in Jordan Hall or hire an African/Middle Eastern history professor, but we do have it for learning about ‘the erotics of childbirth,’” a Butler student told Campus Reform. The student wished to remain anonymous for fear of retribution from the Gender Studies department.

The course is part of the Gender, Women, & Sexuality Studies program and is not mandatory for all Butler students.

According to the course listing, the Fifty Shades of Sex class will be taught by Katherine Schweighofer, an adjunct professor at Butler whose areas of expertise include: “feminist and queer theory, LGBT Studies, histories of sexuality and gender, feminist and queer geographies.”

Schweighofer did not respond to a request for comment from Campus Reform.

At time of publication, 19 students had already signed up for the class which caps the capacity at 20. The class does have a wait list of up to five students.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @K_Schallhorn