November 24, 2003

The Smoking Gun:

Direct evidence exposing Bailey's lies

to the media and to Northwestern University

Our investigation has developed a lot of evidence bearing on the Bailey case, and we are gradually revealing this evidence at appropriate times.
As many of our readers know, Bailey is now claiming that he wasn't doing research studies on transsexualism, and that his book "The Man Who Would Be Queen" is merely his writings "about my own life experiences among transsexuals", rather than being a book about those transsexuals!
Why did Bailey make this astounding confession and this reversal in his earlier position that his book is "cutting-edge science" and "is based on his original research"? The reason is pretty obvious: he is hoping to thereby wriggle out of the serious charges at Northwestern that the didn't obtain the informed consent of his research subjects.
In this page we reveal a very key piece of evidence. It takes the form of an e-mail (see below) in which Prof. J. Michael Bailey directly contradicts those major claims he is now openly making to the media and to Northwestern University officials.
First, as background, we'll look at quotes from Bailey's book, and also from the National Academy Press website, that directly state that the book is cutting edge science based on his original research, and that refers directly to his recruiting and studies of research subjects (1 ).
We'll then go on to look at quotes made to the media by Bailey AFTER he had come under fire for not obtaining the informed consent of his research subjects (2 and 3), quotes that suggest that those earlier claims were just "marketing" or "PR", and the book wasn't a science book after all.
We then reveal (4) new evidence that supports his earlier position and exposes his current position as a lie
We then go on to a discussion (5) of the entire tangled series of lies and evasions that Bailey has engaged in, first to get his book published, then in his efforts to defend his bogus theory once it came under attack, and then in his efforts to defend against charges of research misconduct. Basically Bailey's big problem is that he just can't keep his lies straight...
1. Evidence from within Bailey's book that he claimed he was doing research studies on research subjects:
The Man Who Would Be Queen: The Science of gender bending and transsexualism
Bailey was able to publish his book with the National Academy Press in the first place by making bold claims of the originality and quality of the science it contained. The Academies went on to proclaim on the book's inside cover sheet that "Based on his original research, Bailey's book is firmly grounded in the scientific method."
We also observe a direct claim in the book's title that it is about science, namely: "...The Science of Gender-Bending and Transsexualism"
Then, he even refers to his research subjects as "research subjects" within the book, and even describes within the book how he recruited transsexual women as research subjects, in an apparent efforts to enhance the scientific credibility of the book.
First we find Bailey saying, on page 141 right in the opening paragraph of Part III: Women Who Were Once Boys:
"It is 2 AM Sunday night (actually Monday morning) at Crobar, and I am tired. I have had limited success tonight in recruiting research subjects for our study of drag queens and transsexuals and am cruising the huge club one more time before leaving..."
Then, for example, on page 168 Bailey says: "It also explains the maddening tendency of some transsexual research subject to put down two answers for every question...", in a reference specifically to Anjelica Kieltyka's (one of Bailey's key research subjects) responses to a particularly over constrained multiple-choice interview questionnaire.
And then on page 177, he says: "My own recent research has focused on the homosexual type. Oddly enough, most of the homosexual transsexuals I have met, I have met through Cher, who is the other type."
2. However, in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Thursday, July 17, 2003, he completely reverses his position:
2 Transsexual Women Say Professor Didn't Tell Them They Were Research Subjects
In this Chronicle article Bailey is quoted as saying he had "never considered Anjelica et al. research subjects", adding that "I was writing about my own life experiences among transsexual women."
3. Also see the Daily Northwestern, Tuesday November 18, 2003, where he reiterates that new position:
NU panel to investigate prof's research tactics
In this article, we learn that:
"Bailey questioned the basis of the women's allegations in an e-mail to The Daily on Monday.
"The entire issue in dispute is whether what I did was a 'study' and whether the transsexual women I talked to were 'subjects,'" Bailey wrote.
If NU professors or students conduct a study involving people, they must submit a form to the Institutional Review Board, said communication studies Prof. Michael Roloff, a member of NU's Institutional Review Board, which reviews proposed studies."
4. However, on May 11, 2001, long before his book was published, Bailey confirmed his initial position in an e-mail to Anjelica:
Re: some stuff, auto-guy-knees and me
In this e-mail, in among the bland "nice-sounding" conversational stuff, you find Bailey telling Anjelica that she was: "not a mere case study ..., but also an unusual combination of artist and scientist and scientific and artistic subject."
Furthermore, he also tells her that: "I owe you a terrific debt, not just for introducing me to transsexuals (for both research and socializing ) but for talking with me about everything."
Thus we have exposed Bailey as openly admitting that Anjelica introduced transsexuals to him for "research purposes". Bailey also tells Anjelica that she was a "research subject", and "not a mere case study", in - yes, you guessed it - what can only be a "study"...
Interestingly, as an aside, Bailey here also asserts that Angie introduced transsexuals to him for "socializing". Now what could he possibly mean by that?
Could it be that Bailey also had more personal, sexual motives for "studying" trans women? Could there be an even bigger "smoking gun" lurking around here somewhere? Naw, who would ever believe that? BTW, this reminds me of the old saying "It's hard work but someone has to do it". Here we get a tiny glimpse of the really hard work that prominent sex researchers have to do...such as hanging out socially with pretty, sexy young transsexual girls who are hot for male attention...
This is a true smoking gun, as such things are oft referred to in legal circles. Here we see Bailey directly contradicting the claims he is now making that, oh no, he wasn't really "doing research", but that his book is merely about his adventures hanging out with transsexual women in Chicago night clubs and interacting "socially" with them afterwards...
What can Bailey say to worm his way out of this one?
If we know Bailey, he'll probably say something like: "Well, you know, I was just trying to be nice to Anjelica at the time, complimenting her as being more than a mere study subject, etc., so she'd stop bugging me about using her story in my book against her wishes. (Meanwhile thinking to himself: What the heck could I do? I'd already posted her story on the web without her permission! And I'm known to be proud of my work and never make any changes in writings and opinions I've already published.) Anyway, that was just an informal interaction among social friends; I didn't mean for it to be taken literally, and it's not something I'd like to be quoted on now...It's just a personal communication and not something that I should be held accountable for..."
Somehow, we don't think that the investigation committee at Northwestern University is going to buy such explanations.
5. What we have here is a tangled tale of misrepresentations, evasions and outright lies:
Bailey has now been openly caught in a whole series of lies about his research work. Let's summarize what we've learned by now:
Over the years 1994-1998, Bailey surreptitiously recruited as research subjects a tiny handful of trans women who were brought to him for his signature on their letters of approval for SRS.
In addition to interviewing them and learning many anecdotes about their lives, Bailey began parading these same women, over and over again, through freak-show-like lectures at Northwestern. By so doing, he gradually conveyed the false impression among his colleagues at Northwestern and beyond that he was doing "real" and "original" research involving hundreds of transsexual women. During the period of research behind his book, and during the writing and production of his book, most of his colleagues thought that his work was "the real thing"...actual original scientific research on transsexualism.
We now recognize that Bailey was only going through the motions of appearing to do original research on transsexualism. He never published any journal papers on the results of his studies of his transsexual research subjects, nor did he ever even show his raw data to other scientists. Instead, in 2000 Bailey began writing and posting on the internet artful, readable, entertaining pop-psychology revelations about the sex lives and body modification practices of his transsexual research subjects. These writings, entitled "Women Who Were Once Boys" (WWWOB) were artfully expressive and tantalizingly prurient, without appearing to be overtly pornographic. They were aimed at and attracted many readers from among fellow sexologists on his listserv SEXNET, who were curious about the "sexy" aspects of young transsexual women's lives that Bailey was revealing. These writings, which became the core chapters of Bailey's book, furthered the impression i sexological and psychological circles that Bailey was heavily involved in transsexual research.
Bailey thus built an image of himself as "Dr. Sex", a man who was not only an "expert on homosexuality", but who was by now also possibly the "best connected" psychologist in the country with those rare and exotic "transsexuals" whom many of his colleagues were curious about.
However, this was just an image and not a reality. Bailey only knew a tiny handful of trans women. Bailey wasn't doing original research, but was just regurgitating old, bypassed theories of another researcher (Ray Blanchard). Nevertheless, his inauthentic work looked like the real thing to his colleagues in academic psychology (a field not known for rigorous standards..., and thus easily fooled by posers and even complete fakers...). Bailey was on his way to what he thought would be fame and success.
Then the opportunity presented itself, somehow through his connections with his affiliation group of "evolutionary psychologists" (Pinker, Buss, LeVAy), to get his writings published in book form by the National Academy Press.
However, in order to get the book published by the National Academies, Bailey had to lie to them. He had to claim, and he had to go along with claims of his supporters in evolutionary psychology, that his book was "cutting edge science on transsexualism" and was "based on his original research". He did this, and got his book published by the National Academies.
Unfortunately for Bailey (who is neither a member of HBIGDA, nor even a member of the American Psychological Association), he was so ignorant about his topic that his book lacked even the most basic modern tutorial material regarding gender dysphoria and the professional treatment of transsexualism. Instead, it contained highly selected, prurient and distorted intimate details of his small handful of research subject's lives, written in such a way as to defame his research subjects and all other trans women in the world as being a bunch of sex maniacs, prostitutes, paraphilics and liars.
Bailey thus went "a book too far" in the long-standing tradition of the defamation of transsexual women by university academics (such as Janice Raymond and Germaine Greer), and his book set off a furor.
Trans women around the world (including his own research subjects!) totally rebelled against the book, leading to a major controversy. Bailey was now not on his way not to fame and success, but instead to eventually being exposed as the "Milli Vanilli" of sex researchers - i.e., as an artful but inauthentic poser.
Initially, in the spring of 2003, Bailey fought back at these women to prevent them from challenging his scientific theory. Returning over and over again to the theme that transsexual women are pathological liars, his "scientific theory" had been crafted in such a way as to be unfalsifiable.
Bailey openly teaches that any trans women who claimed that their stories did not fit his theory were "liars" who were misrepresenting their stories! Conveniently for Bailey, this made his theory unfalsifiable (and thus it is NOT a scientific theory, but is instead a mere informal speculation).
Bailey used the claim that trans women are pathological liars to then attack any trans women who criticized the contents of his book, and in the process he also often defamed them personally by publicly diagnosing them as being either effeminate homosexual men or autoguys.
Bailey's failure to directly defend the contents of his book, and his attacking his critics by calling them liars and labeling them with offensive names, only fueled the fires of the investigation - leading to a very intensive internet-based investigation of his work and his affiliations by many trans women, and thus to the discovery that Bailey had never obtained the informed consent of his research subjects!
When, in the summer of 2003, Bailey was accused of research misconduct for not obtaining informed consent from his research subjects, he began to say that his book wasn't about scientific research at all! He began saying it was merely about his adventures among trans women, in a total reversal of his previous position!
However, as we've now discovered, back in 2001 when his book was still in production Bailey wrote to his key research subject that she was not a mere case study but a real research subject. And we have the "smoking gun" to prove it (see below)!
This e-mail was sent at a time when Anjelica had seen Bailey's "Women Who Were Once Boys" chapters of TMWWBQ, which he showed her as a "draft of his book". She has complained bitterly to him that he was misrepresenting her case study, and she'd pleaded with him to not use it is his book. Bailey ignored her, and went ahead and used it anyway, with his only concession being that he changed her name to the pseudonym "Cher".
Amazingly, in 2001, Bailey told Anjelica that she was a research subject, even though he'd never obtained informed consent from her and she didn't have clue about the terrible impact on her life his work was going to have.
We wonder why Bailey didn't visualize what was going to happen when he published his bizarre book, i.e., when Anjelica realized what he had done to her by openly publishing the awful things he said about her without her permission - especially since she was instantly recognized and outed in a highly defamatory way in the trans community as being the "Cher" in Bailey's book? Shouldn't Bailey have known that Anjelica would blow the whistle on him?...
Well, it's history now Prof. Bailey, and it can't be undone...
What a tangled tale of lies, misrepresentations and evasions. Prof. Bailey is exposed not only as an incompetent scientist, but also as an incompetent liar who just can't keep his story straight!
An overview of the unfolding saga:
Bailey first pretends to do original research on transsexualism, using clever image-management to create that impression.
He recruits young transsexual women as research subjects by writing letters of approval for SRS,
but never tells these women that they were research subjects, much less obtain informed consent for your studies of them.
He gains access to intimate details of these women's lives, which he exposes in writings on the internet.
None of those writings were part of any actual original scientific research study,
but are instead pop-psychological writings supporting the old bypassed theory of Ray Blanchard
However, those writings give his IASR colleagues the erroneous impression that he HAD done actual scientific research on transsexualism.
He then goes on to publish a book of his pop-psych writings on transsexualism with the National Academy Press,
claiming to the National Academies and to the nation that his book is cutting-edge science based on his original research.
Then, when trans women criticize his science he attacks them personally, calling them liars who fabricated their stories,
and who thus had no credibility as critics of his scientific theory.
These women become rather upset at Bailey's personal attacks on them, and begin investigating his work,
discovering they he had not obtained informed consent from his research subjects.
When the women file formal complaints with Northwestern University, Bailey totally reverses his previous position!
He now claims that, oh no, his book was not science! - and that he'd never even done any studies of trans women!
Instead he claims that he was just writing about his "experiences among transsexuals"!
Here we reveal a smoking gun: an e-mail message from 2001 in which Bailey reveals that he was doing studies.
The message exudes the context of the time: that Bailey and Kieltyka were virtually colleagues in studies on transsexualism.
He even thanks Anjelica "for introducing me to transsexuals...for both research and socializing...",
telling Anjelica that she was indeed more than a "mere case study", but was "an illuminating case" as a "scientific" "subject".


Here's the Smoking Gun:

An e-mail, publicly revealed for the first time by Anjelica Kieltyka, on Nov. 24, 2003:

This message was among the early e-mails between Anjelica Kieltyka and J. Michael Bailey when Angie first got hooked up to the internet in 2001. This was during the same period of time when Angie was complaining strongly to Bailey about the way the draft of his book draft defamed her, and was telling him not to use her story in his upcoming book. At the time she did NOT know that he had already openly exposed her story on the internet, in WWWOB, as a means of making the story visible to his sexology colleagues. Bailey simply never told her about that internet page! Meanwhile, we have Bailey here seeming "nice", as he often seems to be to the uninitiated. Nevertheless, this message reveals in Bailey's own words that his current statements to the media and to Northwestern University contain lies and inconsistencies undoubtedly motivated by his current desire to avoid censure for research misconduct.

Key words are highlighted in bold, for emphasis,

noting the frequent referral to "studies" (shorthand for research studies)

and subjects (shorthand for research subjects).


Michael Bailey, 11:20 AM 5/11/01 -0500, Re: some stuff, auto-guy-knees and me

Date: Fri, 11 May 2001 11:20:52 -0500
X-Phforward: V2.2@relay
To: "Charlotte A. Kieltyka"
From: Michael Bailey
Subject: Re: some stuff, auto-guy-knees and me


First of all, it's good to have you on the internet.

Second, thanks for writing. Your message is as always insightful.

I am sorry that you would ever wonder about your own intelligence and insight. I think that you are one of the most creative and deep thinkers about the kinds of stuff we talk about that I have known. I owe you a terrific debt, not just for introducing me to transsexuals (for both research and socializing ) but for talking with me about everything. I really admire what you have learned about yourself and everyone else, and you have taught me much.

I agree with you that in general, people have difficulty studying themselves, though. This comes through with gay men, for example, who in my experience have been much more hesitant than they should be to admit that gay men are feminine. And you must know lots of transsexuals from a straight background who deny any sexual component to their motivation; I simply don't believe them.

By and large, I think we agree about 95% of the time. The other 5% I am not sure if we'll ever move closer on. It doesn't matter that much to me--I still enjoy talking and even arguing. If I have ever appeared dismissive, I'm sorry. I think it's just that by now, I know your position pretty well--and I know mine too--and so I move quickly to point out that we simply disagree. We should try to think of studies that in principle could resolve our controversies.

But the bottom line is that you are certainly not a mere case study (although your honesty and openness make you an illuminating case), but also an unusual combination of artist and scientist and scientific and artistic subject.

And as for love advice--I don't know why you should take any from me--I think that there are lesbians out there who would find you quite a catch. I think that transsexuals are a lost cause, however, because they really are only focused on men. BTW, have you tried internet meeting places? Do you have a webpage yourself?

All my best,
..................P.S....I think that lesbians would be attracted to you not only for your body, but also for your caring sensitivity, loyalty, artistic bent, self sufficiency, and sense of humor. Not to mention your mechanical skills.

Michael Bailey
Department of Psychology
Northwestern University
Evanston, IL 60208-2710
office: 847-491-7429
fax: 847-491-7859



This page is part of Lynn Conway's
"Investigative report into the publication of
J. Michael Bailey's book on transsexualism
by the National Academies"
[Links updated 2-05-07]