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3 Feb, 2022 03:15

Professor under investigation for defending sex with children

Clips of Stephen Kershnar expressing favorable views on pedophilia went viral online
Professor under investigation for defending sex with children

A New York university is investigating one of its professors after he appeared to defend sex between adults and extremely young children in a series of videos which went viral online.

Stephen Kershnar, a philosophy professor at the State University of New York at Fredonia (SUNY Fredonia), received heavy backlash this week after clips of him were published on social media.

“Imagine that an adult male wants to have sex with a 12-year-old girl. Imagine that she’s a willing participant,” said Kershnar. “It’s a very standard, very widely held view that there’s something deeply wrong about this, and it’s wrong independent of it being criminalized. It’s not obvious to me that it is in fact wrong.”

Kershnar went on to say that “the notion that it’s wrong even with a one-year-old is not quite obvious to me,” and argued that there were reports “in some cultures of grandmothers fellating their baby boys to calm them down.”

“If it were to be true, it’s hard to see what would be wrong with it,” he said, before going one step further by claiming that adult-child sex could even have benefits for both parties.

Citing historical instances of sex between adults and children, as well as in bonobo apes, Kershnar said “there is good reason to believe that there’s actually a strong benefit to adult-child sex.”

After social media users called for Kershnar to be fired for the comments, SUNY Fredonia President Stephen H. Kolison issued a statement on Tuesday claiming that the matter was under review.

SUNY Fredonia is aware of a video posted online involving one of its professors. The views expressed by the professor are reprehensible and do not represent the values of SUNY Fredonia in any way, shape or form

“They are solely the professor’s views,” said Kolison, adding that “the matter is being reviewed.”

While the clips landed Kershnar in hot water this week, he has consistently made similar statements for over 20 years, and is known in the academic world for his frequent and provocative arguments in favor of other controversial topics.

In 2015, Kershnar published a book titled, ‘Pedophilia and Adult-Child Sex: A Philosophical Analysis’, which made many of the same arguments expressed in the recent clips.

Even SUNY Fredonia’s official profile for Kershnar boasts that the professor has written extensively “on such diverse topics” as “adult-child sex.”

In 2011, Kershnar wrote a book titled, ‘For Torture: A Rights-Based Defense’, while the professor has also written articles titled, ‘A Liberal Argument for Slavery’, ‘For Discrimination Against Women’, ‘Rape Fantasies and Virtue’, ‘The Morality of Faking Orgasms’, and ‘In Defense of Asian Romantic Preference’.