Picture: Flickr/Great Degree
Picture: Flickr/Great Degree

An American university has apologised after making students reveal their sexual history before they were allowed to register for classes.

Students at the University of Southern California (USC) were told to fill out a mandatory online survey asking them to tally and disclose the number of sexual partners which they had been with over the previous three months.

One question asked the students:

How many times have you had sex (including oral) in the last three months?

Another read:

With how many different people have you had sex (including oral) in the last three months?

The email in which the survey was distributed told students that completion was mandatory in order for students to sign up for classes.

It said:

To help create a safe environment for you and other students, you must complete an online course… This course is mandatory, and you must complete it by February 9.

If you do not complete the training by this date you will receive a registration hold until the training is complete. Completing this course is a critical step in our efforts to educate our entire community about student rights, USC’s policies, and resources available on campus.

After students objected to the intimate nature of the questions, the university apologised. A spokesperson said that no offence or distress was intended by the questions and that the questionnaire had been designed as part of a federal mandate to address sexual assault on campus.

Senior Vice President for Administration Todd Dickey told New York Daily News: “USC apologises for any offense or discomfort caused by optional questions included as part of a mandatory on-line training for students on sexual consent, misconduct and other important issues.

“These questions have been removed from our online training module. All colleges and universities are required by law to provide such training, and our training was a standardised module being used by hundreds of colleges and universities across the country.”

Picture via Flickr

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