- Transsexuals Accuse Author of Misconduct
- CHICAGO - At least two transsexual women have accused the
chairman of Northwestern University's psychology department of
using them as research subjects without consent in a controversial
new book on gender-bending.
- The women say Professor J. Michael Bailey engaged in research
misconduct, and they further contend the book makes them out
to be perverted freaks.
- The book, "The Man Who Would Be Queen: The Science of
Gender-Bending and Transsexualism," is "a slam, a major
derogatory expose of transsexuals," said Anjelica Kieltyka,
52, who filed a complaint with Northwestern earlier this month.
- Bailey mentions Kieltyka by name in the book as having introduced
him to transsexuals in Chicago. Kieltyka said Bailey also uses
pseudonyms in referring to her and several acquaintances in discussing
theories that depict some transsexuals as having a mental illness
involving sexual fetishes.
- University of Pennsylvania bioethicist Art Caplan said the
complaints are groundless if the women simply disagree with his
theories, since Bailey is protected by free speech.
- But the women allege that it the book was a research project
and that they were never asked to consent to participate - claims
that, if true, could violate university ethics guidelines.
- Universities take such issues pretty seriously, and scientists
have been suspended from doing research or lost their jobs over
such claims, Caplan said.
- In an e-mail Thursday, Bailey declined to address Kieltyka's
claims. But he said some prominent professors at other schools
who have sided with the women are trying to censor the book.
- Bailey discusses the controversy on his Web site and says
claims that his book portrays transsexuals as deviant are "hysterical
- He says the most criticized part of his book involves another
researcher's theory that male-to-female transsexuals include
some men who are not gay but become sexually aroused "at
the idea of being a woman."
- Kieltyka said three women featured in the book had filed
complaints so far and that more may be coming. Some of the women
are in this country illegally and do not want to be identified,
said Kieltyka, who calls herself their mentor.
- Northwestern spokesman Alan Cubbage said Thursday that he
knew of only two complaints and that the university has referred
them to the school's office of vice president for research. Northwestern
"will respond to the complaints using its established policies
and procedures," Cubbage said in a statement. He declined
- Kieltyka, who was born a man, had sex-change surgery in 1992.
An artist and photographer, she enrolled as an undergraduate
at Northwestern in the late 1990s. She said she is on medical
leave from the school.
- She had previously met Bailey and referred several transsexual
acquaintances to him so that he could sign approval forms they
needed to get sex-change operations. Some of them also gave talks
to some of his classes and shared details of their lives with
him, she said.
- Afterward, Bailey told them, "Guess what? I'm writing
a book," Kieltyka said.
- She said that she thought it would be a "journalistic"
piece, not a science-oriented, theory-based work, and that she
strongly objected to the book when Bailey showed her a draft.
- "I was misused and the other girls were misused, and
the book that is the result of his bogus research is absolutely
hurting," she said.
- Caplan said books and other publications are generally considered
research if they are based on a systematic method of collecting
data, including an analysis of field notes or questionnaires.
- "If you're just collecting stories, that's not a research
method," said Caplan, who had not read the book.
- Academic scientists are required to notify their schools'
institutional review boards about proposed research, and it is
up to the boards to determine when participants' consent is necessary,
- ON THE NET
- Kieltyka's complaint: http://ai.eecs.umich.edu/people/conway/TS/LynnsReviewOfBaileysBook.html
- Bailey's Web site: http://www.psych.northwestern.edu/psych/people/faculty/bailey