A Catholic nun has caused a firestorm after
she allegedly told teens at Charlotte Catholic High School in North
Carolina last month that masturbation can turn boys gay, and gay men
have up to 1,000 sexual partners. Sister Jane Dominic Laurel, an
assistant professor of theology at Aquinas College in Nashville,
Tennessee, reportedly has a history of anti-gay rhetoric. In one of her online lectures,
she called oral sex an abnormal act that's "imported from the
homosexual culture," according to the Charlotte-based LGBT publication, QNotes. A Charlotte Catholic student described the lecture to the news outlet:
She started talking about how gays [sic] people are gay because they
have an absent father figure, and therefore they have not received the
masculinity they should have from their father ... Also a guy could be
gay if he masterbates [sic] and so he thinks he is being turned on by
other guys. And then she gave an example of one of her gay 'friends' who
said he used to go to a shed with his friends and watch PICS and thats
why he was gay. … Then she talked about the statistic where gay men have
had either over 500 or 1000 sexual partners and after that I got up and
went to the bathroom because I should not have had to been subject to
that extremely offensive talk.
In one of her online videos Laurel reiterates
that "a man's desire for instance, for his father's love, his father's
affection, what happens to it? It can become sexualized. And he can
begin to think he has a sexual desire for another man, when in fact, he
doesn't." She adds that boys who have been sexual abused also use
"homosexual acts" as revenge. When reached by phone, Laurel said she
hadn't seen all the reports yet, and could not immediately provide
Aquinas College President Sister Mary Sarah Galbraith defended the school presentation in a statement to the Tennessean,
maintaining that, "the presentation was given with the intention of
showing that human sexuality is a great gift to be treasured and that
this gift is given by God." But some North Carolina students didn't
agree, starting a Change.org petition that's culminated in a Wednesday meeting to address the concerns, according to the Huffington Post.
The students said in their petition: "We reject the suggestion that
homosexuality occurs mainly as a result of a parent’s shortcomings,
masturbation or pornography."
It's not only private school students that are subject to strange claims during sex-ed lectures. As we reported last year, public
schools also invite religious abstinence speakers to talk to students
about sex—and sometimes spread misinformation in the process.
Pam Stenzel, an abstinence lecturer who claims to speak to over 500,000 young people each year, allegedly told public school students at George Washington High School in Charleston, West Virginia,
last year, "If you take birth control, your mother probably hates you."
Shelly Donahue, a speaker for the Colorado-based Center for
Relationship Education, told students in a training video posted by the Denver Westword
in 2011 that if a guy gets sperm near a girl's vagina, it will turn
into a "little Hoover vacuum" and she will become pregnant. Jason Evert,
who has scheduled some visits to public schools on his 2014 calendar,
advises girls that they should "only lift the veil over your body to
the spouse who is worthy to see the glory of that unveiled mystery." To
see our full list of abstinence speakers who have given talks in public
schools, click here. Good luck, America.