Washington University Students Deprived of Opportunity to Lean about Important Breakthroughs in Sexual Abstinence Research

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A student group at Washington University in St. Louis apparently invited celebrity dancer and, um, abstinence expert Bristol Palin to campus to appear on a panel to discuss sexual abstinence. And then the school had to retract the invitation.

According to an article by Elizabeth Holland at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Washington University’s Student Health Advisory Committee had extended an invitation to Palin, a spokeswoman to prevent teen pregnancy, to speak on abstinence as part of the university’s Student Sexual Responsibility Week.

But because of a growing controversy among undergraduates over the decision to pay for her talk with student-generated funds, the advisory committee and Palin decided Thursday night “that the message that they intended on sharing would be overshadowed by controversy,” according to a university statement.

Palin reportedly earns up to $30,000 per appearance, roughly 75 percent of yearly tuition at Wash U. It was apparently this information that made Wash U. students so irritated and not, you know, the fact pretty much everyone knows that abstinence-only sex education doesn’t work at all.

Palin has been replaced by Kathryn Plax, associate professor of Pediatrics at the Washington University School of Medicine.

Presumably Plax, who actually went to medical school, will be less likely to speak about the glories of abstinence, though her appearance will probably be a lot less entertaining. [Image via]

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer