A relatively new Pasadena City College class called “Navigating Pornography” – devoted to giving students a venue to study and discuss a touchy topic in an academic setting, according to its professor – has already prompted praise and concern.

First offered last spring, the class is a for-credit elective open to all students and does not require any prerequisites. In just one year, it’s come under national scrutiny after its instructor, Professor Hugo Schwyzer, invited a porn star to speak to its students.

But Schwyzer defended Navigating Pornography in an interview with The College Fix, calling the subject matter legitimate.

“(The course) focuses on giving students tools to understand pornography as a historical and contemporary phenomenon,” Schwyzer told The College Fix. “Students today live in a porn-saturated culture and very rarely get a chance to learn about it in a safe, non-judgmental, intellectually thoughtful way.”

The course doesn’t merely consist of viewing pornography. In fact, students do not view porn inside the classroom. Instead, they watch it on their own time as homework. Assignments include journals, a research paper, and a final exam, Schwyzer explained.

Schwyzer, professor of history and gender studies at the Southern California-based community college, said the elective provides students an avenue to discuss pornography in an academic setting…

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