A college professor appears to say in a video interview that he sees nothing immoral about sex between adults and children. With that the college's president called the professor's words "reprehensible," and now the school is investigating.
What are the details?
WIVB-TV reported that video clips in question appear to show philosophy professor Stephen Kershnar discussing sex between adults and children. In the clips Kershnar seems to make it clear he finds nothing immoral about adult-child sex.
Here's one clip. There is no obvious origin or context for the clip at present, and there appears to be a single cut in the video of him speaking:
He says, "Imagine that an adult male wants to have sex with a 12-year-old girl. Imagine that she's a willing participant. [cut] A very standard, very widely held view that there's something deeply wrong with 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. And I think exploring why it's a mistake will tell us not only things about adult-child sex and statutory rape but also about fundamental principles of morality."
The above clip also can be viewed here as the first in a string of related interview clips appearing to feature Kershnar.
What did the college have to say?
Stephen H. Kolison, president of State University of New York at Fredonia, posted the following statement Tuesday night: “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. The matter is being reviewed.”
What else do we know about the professor?
Kershnar also has written about adult-child sex. The abstract for his article titled " The Moral Status of Adult-Child Sex" in the April 2001 issue of Public Affairs Quarterly reads as follows: "Nonforcible adult-child sex is thought to be morally wrong in part because it is nonconsensual. In this paper I argue against this notion. In particular, I reject accounts of the moral wrongfulness of adult-child sex that rest on the absence of consent, concerns about adult exploitation of children, and the existence of a morally primitive duty against such sex."
SUNY Fredonia's bio on Kershnar indicates he's written about "such diverse topics as abortion, adult-child sex, hell, most valuable player, pornography, punishment, sexual fantasies, slavery, and torture. He is the author of ten books, including Desert Collapses: Why No One Deserves Anything (2021), Total Collapse: The Case Against Morality and Responsibility (2018), and Abortion, Hell, and Shooting Abortion-Doctors: Does the Pro-Life Worldview Make Sense? (2017)."
Kershnar also authored 2015's “Pedophilia and Adult-Child Sex: A Philosophical Analysis,” according to WIVB.
And in a two-hour-plus video interview dated Dec. 5, 2020, Kershnar delved into a variety of topics, including adult-child sex. Kershnar — who can be seen on the left side of the screen — says he got interested in the topic because he was exploring "whether or not an act is wrong because it's harmful."
He goes on to note three basic arguments against adult-child sex — harm, infringement of rights, exploitation — and said that "none of these [arguments] convinced me."
Unregistered 142: Stephen Kershnar (VIDEO) youtu.be