Clemson students given 'Heterosexual Questionnaire' in class

Mitchell Gunter
South Carolina Campus Correspondent

  • At least some Criminal Justice majors at Clemson University are reportedly being required to take a “Heterosexual Questionnaire” that paints heterosexuality in a decidedly negative light.
  • The document was distributed in a "Sociology of Sex and Gender" course, which fulfills part of the 9 credit-hour social justice requirement recently imposed on Criminal Justice students.
  • At least some Criminal Justice majors at Clemson University are reportedly being required to take a “Heterosexual Questionnaire” as part of the major’s nine-credit Social Justice Requirement.

    Photos of the questionnaire, provided to Campus Reform by a Criminal Justice student who wishes to remain anonymous, reveal that it is filled with loaded questions apparently designed to make students feel guilty or uncertain about their preference for members of the opposite sex.

    "Is it possible that all you need is a good same-sex partner?"   

    The questionnaire was distributed in a Sociology of Sex and Gender course taught by PhD candidate Traci Hefner.

    [RELATED: CSULB journalism assignments disparage conservatives]

    Clemson restructured the criminal justice concentration in 2016 to incorporate nine credit-hours of social justice-related coursework, with Professor Marjie Britz asserting at the time that the new program “will more fully immerse students in the world of criminal justice, but it is also designed to address the increasingly complicated ethical and social issues facing law enforcement and criminal justice organizations today.”

    “A mandatory nine hours of work in social justice courses” became “a key component in the design of the program,” according to Clemson’s media release, which also noted that “Britz and university leaders seek to produce justice studies graduates who see the importance of issues of ethics and diversity in the field of criminal justice.”

    [RELATED: Clemson set to roll out mandatory diversity course]

    “When and how did you first decide you were a heterosexual?” the document asks. “Is it possible that your heterosexuality is just a phase you will out-grow? Is it possible that your heterosexuality stems from bad experiences with people of the same sex?”

    It goes on to ask, “If you’ve never been sexually or romantically involved with a person of the same sex, is it possible that all you need is a good same-sex partner?”

    Shifting to a more accusatory tone, it then asks, “Why do you heterosexuals insist on flaunting your heterosexuality? Can’t you just be what you are and keep it quiet? Is it really necessary to see heterosexuals on TV and in the media?”

    Continuing to make sweeping generalizations, the back of the questionnaire asserts that “A disproportionate amount of child molesters are heterosexuals,” asking, “Do you consider it safe to expose children to heterosexual teachers?”

    “How can you become a whole person if you limit yourself to heterosexuality and fail to develop your natural, healthy homosexual potential?,” the questionnaire continues, asking, “Would you want your children to be heterosexual, knowing the problems they’d face?”

    “Statistics show that heterosexuals are most affected by STIs, and that lesbians have the lowest incidence of STIs,” another item adds. “Is it really safe for a woman to have a heterosexual lifestyle and run the risk of disease and pregnancy?”

    “Basically she used it as a means to start a discussion on how heteros say that all the time to gays and how heteronormative societies push gays away,” the anonymous student explained to Campus Reform.

    “It felt like she was trying to make being hetero a negative thing,” the student added, pointing out that is was “not for a grade” and calling the exercise “honestly completely pointless to criminal justice.”

    [RELATED: ‘White privilege checklist’ offered as extra-credit assignment]

    Following the Heterosexual Questionnaire, the professor “brought the case study out to show us how a heteronormative culture can be harmful to the LGBTQ people,” the student reported.

    A photo of the case study in question describes “T.J.,” a white teenage girl with ADHD and PTSD. T.J. suspects she is a lesbian, and is afraid to tell her parents, church pastor, and youth group. After making “sexually suggestive comments to a group of boys,” she is suspended from her youth group indefinitely.

    “T.J’s parents were constantly trying to get her to act and dress in a more feminine manner. Her dad complained that she didn’t act like a lady and that really bothered him. T.J’s mom exhibited traditional standards of femininity,” the case study states disapprovingly, adding that T.J’s parents get into a fight over T.J’s “un-lady like behavior.”

    After this scenario, the case study asks students, “How does heteronormativity affect T.J.?,” instructing them to “describe the gender expectations and stereotypes in this case” and “discuss T. J.[‘s] behaviors using social learning theory.”

    Campus Reform reached out to Hefner, but did not receive a response in time for publication.  

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @rMitchellGunter





    Mitchell Gunter

    Mitchell Gunter

    South Carolina Campus Correspondent

    Mitchel Gunter is a South Carolina Campus Correspondent, and reports liberal bias and abuse on campus for Campus Reform. He is currently studying civil engineering at Clemson University.

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