‘Reprehensible’: SUNY Professor Placed Under Review After Video Showed Him Defending Pedophilia

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Classroom - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.02.2022
Newly surfaced footage has prompted authorities at the State University of New York at Fredonia to place a tenured professor "under review" after the official was documented defending pedophilia.
Professor Stephan Kershnar of the State University of New York at Fredonia defended pedophilia in a video uploaded onto the YouTube channel “Brain in a Vat.” In the recording, Kershnar equated the idea of a child consenting to sex to a child agreeing to play kickball or preparing for their Bar Mitzvah.
Kershnar is known for such publications as “Pedophilia and Adult-Child Sex: A Philosophical Analysis” and “A Liberal Argument for Slavery.”
“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 there's something deeply wrong about this. And it's wrong independent of it being criminalized,” he said in the video.
“It's not obvious to me that is, in fact, wrong. I think this is a mistake. And I think that 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,” he added.
SUNY Fredonia President Stephen Kolison has condemned the video, writing in a tweet: "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.”
Though SUNY Fredonia’s account has disabled the option for people to publicly comment on the tweet, hundreds are sharing the tweet with dissatisfied comments.
“@FredoniaU WTF is wrong with your school? Employing a sadistic pig who advocates for pedophilia and child r***. This is totally unconscionable,” wrote Twitter user Rose Alders.
Many are also pointing out the fact that Kershnar’s record has been lenient toward the idea of pedophilia for several years, and suggesting that the school must have been aware of his record before he was hired, as he has worked for the institution for the past 23 years. Kershnar is also a tenured professor, which means he will have the right to a hearing before he is terminated.
“Oh my word it's even in his bio… ‘Kershnar has written one hundred articles and book chapters on such diverse topics as abortion, ADULT-CHILD SEX....’ But sure, go ahead @FredoniaU and say it doesn't represent your values ‘in any way, shape or form,’” Twitter user @DanBartkowiak wrote.
In the condemned video which was posted on Sunday, Kershnar also made such egregious claims by saying that "the notion that it's wrong [to have sexual relations] even with a one year-old, it's not quite obvious to me." He pointed out that "n "at least one culture," there are reports of grandmothers allegedly "fellating their baby boys to calm them down,” though he says he doesn’t know if this cultural phenomenon is even true.
The YouTube channel “Brain in a Vat” claims to post videos which are “thought experiments and discussions with philosophers,” and is hosted by Mark Oppenheimer and Jason Werbeloff. The channel has a little over 2,000 followers.
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