Education

Professor Says It Isn’t ‘Obvious’ That Wishing To Have Sex With A 12-Year-Old Is ‘Wrong’

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Kendall Tietz Education Reporter
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  • A professor of ethics and philosophy at the State University of New York at Fredonia (SUNY) said it “is not obvious” to him that an adult wanting to have sex with a child is wrong, according to videos obtained by the Twitter account Libs of TikTok.
  • “Imagine that an adult male wants to have sex with a 12-year-old girl, imagine that she is a willing participant,” SUNY Professor Dr. Stephen Kershnar said. “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.”
  • “We make children do all sorts of things that they don’t want to do,” Kershnar said, a statement Russell affirmed and thanked Kershnar for expressing. “We make them go to church, we make them go to temple, we tell them to go to school, they got to go to the dentist, they got to go to their sister’s ballet recital.”

A professor of ethics and philosophy at the State University of New York at Fredonia (SUNY) said it “is not obvious” to him that an adult wanting to have sex with a child is wrong, according to videos obtained by the Twitter account Libs of TikTok.

“Imagine that an adult male wants to have sex with a 12-year-old girl, imagine that she is a willing participant,” SUNY Professor Dr. Stephen Kershnar said. “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.”

“I think, this is a mistake,” Kershnar said. “I think exploring why it is a mistake will tell us not only things about adult-child sex and statutory rape, but also about fundamental principles of morality.”

“The notion that it is wrong, even with a one-year-old, is not quite obvious to me,” Kershnar said. The SUNY professor cited reports about foreign cultures, which he admits he doesn’t know to be true, where grandmothers allegedly fellate baby boys to calm them down, which he said makes it “hard to see what would be wrong with it.”

Kershnar also compared minor consent to sex as similar to agreeing to play a kickball game or participate in a lesson because “there’s lots of activities that children engage in that they don’t understand all that well.”

In another video, where Kershnar is talking with Thaddeus Russell of Renegade University on his podcast “Unregistered,” Kershnar discussed the belief that adult-minor sex is a matter of “rights infringement” because adolescents can’t give valid consent, an argument neither Kershnar nor Russell said they were convinced by.

“We make children do all sorts of things that they don’t want to do,” Kershnar said, a statement Russell affirmed and thanked Kershnar for expressing. “We make them go to church, we make them go to temple, we tell them to go to school, they got to go to the dentist, they got to go to their sister’s ballet recital.”

Russell said he has been making arguments “more or less in defense of adult-child sex” in classrooms for 25 years.

Kershnar cited “metastudies” suggesting that sex between adult males and underage males is not harmful or “if it is harmful we can’t decide whether the harm is due to the sex itself or the fact that society goes berserk over it.”

Regarding the law, Kershnar said that “if we don’t know whether willing sex with 15-year-olds is going to have net good or bad consequences,” that activity should not be criminalized.

Kershnar went on to say attraction to “pre-pubescent individuals” is “fairly widespread among young men … in our society,” a claim he said indicates “a strong benefit to adult-child sex.”

Kershnar is the author of the 2015 book titled “Pedophilia and Adult–Child Sex: A Philosophical Analysis,” which “looks at the moral status of such adult-child sex,” according to the book description. He said the “problem is that it is not clear whether these judgments are justified and whether they are aesthetic or moral.” 

The book description says that “many people find it disgusting to view images of obese people having sex, but it is hard to see what is morally undesirable about such sex: here the judgment is aesthetic” as an “analogy” to justify adult-child sex.

In a 2003 paper, “A Liberal Argument For Slavery,” Kershnar argued a “slavery contract is not a rights violation” and described his strategy “to show that formation and enforcement of a slavery contract does not necessarily infringe upon anyone’s moral rights or lead to pejorative exploitation and hence maybe not be disallowed on liberal grounds.”

Kershnar authored a book in 2014 titled “Gratitude toward Veterans: Why Americans Should Not Be Very Grateful to Veterans.

The ethics professor also condoned discrimination against women in an academic paper that argued “it is morally permissible and should be legally permissible for state and private professional schools to discriminate against women” and “such schools may discount womens applications to the degree that they are likely to produce less than male counterparts.”

SUNY Fredonia President Stephen H. Kolison said in a statement that he was aware of a video online involving one of the university’s professors expressing views Kolison described as “reprehensible.” Kolison said the professor’s views do not represent the values of SUNY Fredonia and that the matter is being reviewed.

SUNY Fredonia and Renegade University did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.

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