A James Madison University professor in an accounting ethics class asked students to weigh in on a descriptive scenario questioning the morality of incest.
Students in the class were asked to reflect on a scenario where a biological brother and sister engage in an incestuous relationship for one night. Using the terminology “making love,” the slide asks if it was okay for the sibling duo to sleep together because they used sexual preventatives.
“What do you think about that? Was it okay for them to make love?” the slide concludes.
Accounting Ethics at @JMU. There are certainly more effective and relevant ways to talk about moral reasoning as it relates to accounting, but here we are. pic.twitter.com/l4m6LLF2si
— Ian Prior (@iandprior) September 20, 2021
The university confirmed the incident to The Federalist but defended the instructor’s right to share the sexual scenario in the business classroom.
“An instructor of an ethics-based accounting class used a scenario and question to initiate conversation and illustrate the concept of moral judgment and reasoning,” a JMU spokeswoman told The Federalist. “Difficult ethical and moral dilemmas are often presented in classroom settings as a means to challenge and expand students’ critical thinking abilities.”
The spokeswoman said that the particular example used in the class slideshow “has been in use for over two decades, and was extracted from a well-cited research publication” but did not address why the example belonged in a business ethics course.
“University faculty have the academic freedom to determine which examples they use in the classroom; they also have the expertise to provide appropriate context for challenging topics and to navigate the ensuing discussions,” the spokeswoman concluded.
It is unclear which exact course included the incest conversation as accounting curriculum but even the course description for an “Accounting Ethics and Social Responsibility” class at JMU acknowledges that content should focus on ethical dilemmas applicable to accounting and ways to avoid fraud.
“Students analyze the nature of ethical dilemmas faced by accountants in making decisions and exercising responsibilities to the public, and they apply professional guidance on ethics in accounting,” the description reads.
Just two months ago, the same university confirmed to Fox News that student employees were given training that claimed “male, cisgender, heterosexual, heteroromantic, Christian, White, Western European, American, upper to middle class, thin/athletic build, able-bodied, or ages 30s to early 50s” people are “oppressors.”
These oppressors, the training claimed using critical race theory rhetoric, engage in “the systematic subjugation of one social group by a more powerful social group for the social, economic and political benefit of the more powerful social group.”
In March, the university hired seven faculty members for a “diversity cohort” that was designed to “strengthen [the university’s] commitment to social change by engaging the critical issues of our times.” According to the university, these faculty “work broadly across areas of racial and social justice, minority cultures and critical race studies.”