Celebrity Sperm Bank Fiasco

29 Oct

Teaching a university course in ‘Thinking’ can be very different from most other courses, In that it isn’t immediately apparent to students how they are benefiting from the course. To get over this I try to regularly include items that demonstrate to the students that they are acquiring an uncommon skill, that out in the ‘real world’ very few people possess. This week I came across a great example that went down very well with the students.

The website famedaddy.com details a sperm bank with a range of celebrity donors. It doesn’t take much of a look to realise that the website is a very well executed joke. When I showed the website to my students I’d estimate that 60% realised that it was a joke site immediately, and the remainder did so after watching the video on the front page of the website.


What is interesting about this case is that not everyone realised that famedaddy.com was a joke. The UK daytime TV show ‘This Morning’, picked up the story of famedaddy.com and ran a live interview with its ‘founder’. For readers in the USA, ‘This Morning’ would roughly be the equivalent of ‘Live with Regis and Kelly’


Showing students this website, letting them examine it, and then showing them the video of the ‘This Morning’ is a great way of getting them to understand that they are acquiring a set of skills that are valuable, and that many apparently ‘intelligent’ people don’t possess.

Interestingly, this formed about a ten minute section of a three-hour lecture, and yet it was the one thing the students wanted to speak to me about afterwards !

2 Responses to “Celebrity Sperm Bank Fiasco”


  1. Another two stories for my penis and sperm lecture ! | Teaching Rational Thinking - March 20, 2013

    […] have been really useful in engaging students with rational thinking. I’ve talked about both a very odd celebrity sperm bank and an even stranger peer-reviewed journal article about penis size. Now I’ve come across […]

  2. Another entry for my ‘Rational Thinking about penis research’ lecture | Teaching Rational Thinking - January 26, 2014

    […] amasses a whole series of examples from what I call the ‘penis and sperm’ genre. From celebrity sperm banks to cross-cultural penis size research, the literature is full of examples that stick in the mind of […]

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