By Pat Savage
Sex and drugs may bring down a high profile professor.
Hunter College psychology professor and sex and drug researcher Jeffrey Parsons has been accused of using cocaine at college events and organizing annual parties that included major amounts of alcohol and sex.
Parsons, described by the New York Post as “the youngest-ever “distinguished” professor at the public college and one of the CUNY system’s highest paid professors” left his job on July 3rd in the wake of a school investigation that reportedly supported staff complaints dating back to the spring of 2018.
Parsons served as the director of the Center for HIV Educational Studies and Training (CHEST), tasked with doing research on – what else – drug use and at-risk sex. The program was funded to the tune of a reported $37 million in grants between 1997 and 2016.
“Every year he’d host a party he claimed he paid for out of his expense account known as the CHEST fest, a former employee said. Last year’s bash is when his alleged bad behavior came to a head,” the Post reported. “The May 4, 2018, soirée was held at the iconic Stonewall Inn in the West Village, where Parsons rented out the bar’s second floor. The theme: rebellion. As he did at past events, Parsons encouraged attendees to imbibe.”
Parsons is known as a psychologist, researcher, and educator whose career includes stints as Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Hunter College and The Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). He was trained as a developmental psychologist and has applied this training to understand health, according to Wikipedia, with a particular emphasis on HIV prevention and treatment. “He is well-known for his research on HIV risk behaviors of gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM), HIV-related syndemics, and sexual compulsivity.”
Parsons is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in HIV prevention and treatment, having been particularly influential on understanding health risk behaviors associated with HIV transmission and HIV-related health outcomes for GBMSM, Wikipedia noted. He was a pioneer in understanding the etiology and consequences of sexual compulsivity (now often referred to as hypersexuality) for GBMSM as well as having produced influential work on topics ranging from understanding intentional condomless sex (i.e., barebacking) and methamphetamine use to developing efficacious interventions to reduce substance use and HIV-related health risk behaviors.
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