As part of our recent Let's Talk About Sex campaign, an Instagram takeover of the Students' Union's account by the Vice President Wellbeing and Diversity Henn Warwick included a question and answer regarding sex myths. In responding to the submitted myths, a caption was added to one response regarding the average penis size that, while meant in a humorous manner, fell below the expectations of the Students' Union and the student body.
In response, Henn today apologised: "On the 18 February as part of my Let’s Talk About Sex campaign I took over the SU story to have a fun and open conversation about sex myths and created an interactive sex quiz. During the takeover I replied to a sex myth stating “12 inches is average” with a body of text debunking the myth highlighting that the average erect penis size ranges from 5 - 7inches. In small writing I regretfully added the comment “I wish” to the picture.
"I want to openly and personally apologise for this extremely careless comment. My intention was to add some personality and humour to this post as it was intended to be a fun and exciting takeover. To me, a 12 inch penis was entirely unrealistic given it is 5 inches larger than the average size and I thought it would be taken as a “sassy” joke. In reflection, adding in “I wish” was extremely contradictory and served no purpose to the message I was trying to convey.
"I am very disappointed in myself for making this mistake and want to formally apologise to all students. This comment was entirely inappropriate and was striking completely the wrong tone. I realise the detrimental impact my comment could have to people with penises and want to highlight that there is no standard size and I personally advocate that size doesn’t matter!
"My entire campaign has focused on inclusivity and challenging social stigmas surrounding sex. I will continue to release the content for my campaign and hope we can come together to stamp down social stigma. This situation has taught me a lot, especially about when and where is appropriate to joke and making sure that a joke is never at anyone’s expense whether that be unintentionally or intentionally. For my campaign today I am talking about sexual wellbeing and actually have posts prepared to talk about penises and Sunday I am focusing on vulvas and other important topics!"
In addition to this, the Students' Union has committed to reviewing our internal processes and training around social media takeovers. This work will begin immediately and be in place before any further takeovers.
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