An ethics professor at the New York public university has praised the ‘evolutionary advantages’ of pedophilia. He isn’t the first, and the reality is that he’s been openly backed by 153 other professors.
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There seems to have been an increase in individuals striving to initiate a dialogue regarding “de-stigmatizing” pedophilia in recent months. We previously recounted the example of a transgender-identifying professor who wrote The Long Dark Shadow: Minor-Attracted People and Their Pursuit of Dignity to “destigmatize” pedophilia.
Alyn Walker prefers the word “minor-attracted people” (MAPs) to “pedophile” since it has fewer unpleasant overtones and conveys the idea that sexuality is variable, whilst evading the question of whether she views pedophilia to be a different sexual orientation.
In January, USA Today published an article on pedophilia by journalist Alia Dastagir, lobbying for “de-stigmatizing the attraction” and arguing that it is “among the most misunderstood,” mentioning that “researchers who study pedophilia say the term describes an attraction, not an action,” and that “using it interchangeably with ‘abuse’ fuels misperceptions about pedophiles.” After receiving outrage, the newspaper took down a string of tweets.
Nevertheless, it’s possible that now the social media microphone is merely attracting our attention to these isolated incidents, and that instead of a trend, we’re simply witnessing academics whose research would otherwise go unnoticed getting their research highlighted in public.
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But, with the Netflix movie Cuties; the phenomenon of “drag kids” (which a pedophile proponent has outlined as advantageous to his cause); and the continual fetishization of kids in entertainment — not to bring up the notion that sexualized entertainers such as drag queens are adequate as children’s entertainment — everything seems sinisterly troubling.
Something has now become a viral phenomenon once more. Dr. Stephen Kershnar, a professor at SUNY Fredonia, has now been suspended following an inquiry into a footage of him saying that opposing pedophilia is “a mistake” and that “evolutionary advantages to child/adult sex.” Kershnar teaches integrated ethics and libertarian philosophy (surprise, surprise). Students reacted angrily to his remarks, leading to his suspension.
Kerhsnar appears to believe that sexual connections among adults and children can be beneficial. According to his own words, here are his thoughts:
Imagine that an adult male wants to have sex with a 12-year-old girl. Imagine that she’s a willing participant. A very standard, very widely held view is that there’s something deeply wrong about this. It’s wrong independent of it being criminalized.
It’s not obvious to me that it’s in fact wrong. I think this is a mistake. And I think exploring that why it’s a mistake will tell us not only things about adult/sex and statutory rape and also fundamental principles of morality … The notion that it’s wrong even with a one-year-old is not quite obvious to me.
Kershnar defended this heinous advocacy of pedophilia by claiming that there have been societies where grandparents purportedly conduct oral sex on infant boys to calm them down, saying, “It’s hard to see what’s wrong with it.”
Despite acknowledging that youngsters “can’t understand” sexual activity, Kershnar claims that this reasoning is refuted by the fact that children frequently engage in activities they don’t fully comprehend, such as athletics or religious rites.
The awfulness of Kershnar’s words is challenging to overstate. Kershnar noted, “[Attraction to minors is] fairly widespread among young men, particularly young men in our society.” He said that allowing this could have “evolutionary advantages,” and also that the issue, in his opinion, is society’s attitude to pedophilia rather than pedophilia altogether. He does, nevertheless, argue that pedophilia should continue to be outlawed, but it is unclear just how this ties to his other beliefs.
What bothers me the most is not that a professor harbors such terrible beliefs. After all, he isn’t the first. Kershnar is a descendant of Dr. Alfred Kinsey, and it was just discovered that Dr. Michel Foucault, the father of “wokeness,” was likely a pedophile rapist.
It’s the reality that he’s been openly backed by 153 other professors, who said that while they may disagree with Kershnar’s results, his academic freedom ought to allow him to investigate this topic further.
Interestingly, philosopher Peter Singer, who has argued for infanticide on the premise that a human newborn is no more precious than a piglet, is among the signatories to an open letter supporting Kershnar.
Should there be any points of view that are beyond the pale? Should a defense of pedophilia fall under the purview of intellectual freedom, particularly in our post-sexual revolution cultural environment of fluid modernity and relativism? I’m not a big supporter of cancel culture, but supporting child sexual abuse has to be one of the worst things you can do.