Sex Talk with Dr. Friar

Human sexuality is one of Dr. Friar’s specialties

<span class='credit'>Photo Courtesy of Dr. Robert Friar</span><span class='description'>Dr. Robert Friar, who speaks to students at the Sex and the College Student events, is on his 43rd year of teaching at Ferris.</span>
Photo Courtesy of Dr. Robert FriarDr. Robert Friar, who speaks to students at the Sex and the College Student events, is on his 43rd year of teaching at Ferris.

Dr. Robert Friar, best known for teaching human sexuality, has been talking and teaching about sex for decades.

Friar earned a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture and Biology, a Master’s degree in Endocrinology, and holds a doctorate in Physiology with emphases in Reproductive Physiology and Neurophysiology from Purdue University and began teach at Ferris in 1967.

Friar teaches human sexuality, in addition to human physiology and anatomy.

“I never asked to teach Human Sexuality,” Friar said, “I never went looking for it; it found me.”

Former Ferris professors, George Janzen and Leon Keys, asked Dr. Friar to help them teach human sexuality since he is familiar with the reproductive system. After Janzen retired and Keys passed away, the class was all Dr. Friar’s.

“There was a great need for this human sexuality class because, in our culture, we don’t talk about sex and sexuality; a lot of people are misinformed about it.”

Ferris students Jillian Speaks and Alysia Schuitema both commented on Friar and his human sexuality class.

“Dr. Friar is a great and smart teacher; what I learned in five minutes in his human sexuality class is more informative and helpful than what I learned in five hours of any other class I’ve taken,” said Schuitema.

“Dr. Friar treats us like adults. He is very professional when it comes to him teaching. His class was interesting and the stories he had were great and fun to listen to,” added Speaks

In his 43 years at Ferris, he has only had one colleague show concern about his teaching methods in his human sexuality course.

According to Friar, this professor had a class after his anatomy and physiology class. Dr. Friar left his slides in the classroom. This professor saw them and happened to pick up a slide that showed a penis. She took it to Dr. Friar and said “why are you showing this to our students? You could get fired for this.”

Dr. Friar responded, “We should not be ashamed to discuss what God wasn’t ashamed to create.”

Dr. Friar has demonstrated his ability to dicuss sex freely and easily, but recognizes when others are perhaps not of the same state of mind. “The penis,” Friar said, “has more names than any other organ in our body.”

If anyone uses the wrong terminology of the penis and vagina, that shows, according to Dr. Friar, that those people are uncomfortable with their sexuality. They are afraid of what and who they are when they use other words to hide what they really mean to say.

“The brain is the number one sex organ. All sexual desires and sexual thoughts come from our brain,” he said.

Friar added, “The more knowledge we have about sex and sexuality, the less likely we are to get involved in inappropriate sexual behaviors. People who have a good understanding of sex and sexuality will tend to use their frontal lobes of their brain to make sexual choices. People lacking that knowledge are prone to let their hypothalamus dictate their sexual behaviors. The frontal lobes think and use reason to make decisions. The hypothalamus gives us reflexive types of behaviors.”

“If we want our children to make wise sexual choices, then we need to provide them with complete and accurate sexual information,” said Friar.