California university asks students how many times they’ve had sex in mandatory questionnaire

© Sigit Pamungkas
The University of Southern California has issued a mandatory questionnaire asking students how many times they’ve had sex in the previous three months and with how many different people.

As part of the university’s Title IX program, which is a statute protecting people from discrimination based on sex in education programs, students are asked a number of questions about their sex life that they must answer in order to register for courses in the spring semester.

In an email sent to the student body, the college said the session was "mandatory, and you must complete it by February 9, 2016." If a student failed to do this, they would "receive a registration hold until the training is complete," CampusReform.org reports.

While the course contains a two-hour-long interactive lesson on sexual assault, as well as consent and substance abuse, which is similar to what other colleges require as part of their Title IX training, it is preceded by a questionnaire that some USC students found "super personal."

Under the heading "Please share a little about you," the college’s queries delved into topics such as sex, drinking, and drugs, and included the following questions, which the college says are answered anonymously:

  • How many times have you had sex (including oral) in the last three months?
  • With how many different people have you had sex (including oral) in the last three months?
  • If you had sex (including oral) in the last 3 months, how many times had you been drinking alcohol?
  • If you had sex (including oral) in the last 3 months, how many times had you been using drugs recreationally?
  • If you had sex (including oral) in the last 3 months, how many times had you used a condom?

"It said it was anonymous, but at the same time, they were keeping track of whether I was answering or not, because I wouldn’t be able to take classes or graduate without completing it," Jacob Ellenhorn, a USC student, told the told the Daily News.

The online reaction to the survey has been mainly negative, with many condemning the college for asking such probing and personal questions.