A college professor at New York College at Geneseo is under investigation for giving students a quiz to identify transgender women from cis-gender women.
Sociology professor David Sorbello put on a slideshow of a quiz titled “Female or Shemale” which featured 16 photos of women. Students were meant to identify which of the women were transgender.
Student Jillian Sternberg snapped a photo of the quiz which was posted on Twitter by fellow student Jasmine Coi.
Sternberg told BuzzFeed that Sorbello also made offensive comments during the lesson.
“He said something along the lines of, ‘Be careful not to get too drunk or you’ll take the wrong one home,’” Sternberg says. “He would comment on some of the pictures like, ‘I’m definitely not going to the bar with you.’”
“After we took the quiz, he even said, ‘I know a lot of you guys look uncomfortable,'” Sternberg continued.
Sternberg told 13 ABC WHAM that she confronted Sorbello about the quiz after class.
“He was very defensive, very defensive. He said it was partly for humor,” Sternberg says.
SUNY president Denise A. Battles released a statement saying that the matter is being treated seriously.
“The classroom is an environment in which students and faculty can and should discuss challenging topics and ideas, which makes it all the more important that we gather and fully review the facts in this case,” Battles said. “As we review this situation, let me say unequivocally that SUNY Geneseo has a steadfast and uncompromising commitment to diversity and inclusivity. We work diligently to sustain an inviting and supportive environment for people of all gender identities, gender expressions, sexual orientations, races, religions and other identities.”
Despite the backlash, Sorbello did not address the content of his lesson but instead reprimanded students for taking photos of his slideshows during class. Cui tweeted a screenshot of an email he sent reminding students to put their electronics away during lessons.