November 25, 2003
The Washington Times reports:
University investigates ethics of sex researcher
Unusual level of bi-partisanship exhibited as
GLBT groups and liberals are joined by convervatives
in denouncing Bailey's junk science
University investigates ethics of sex researcher
By Robert Stacy McCain

Tuesday, November 25, 2003
Northwestern University is investigating charges of ethics violations
by a psychology professor whose federally funded research has been
criticized by House Republicans.

Professor J. Michael Bailey has been accused of failing to "obtain the
informed consent of research subjects" for his book about transsexuality,
"The Man Who Would Be Queen."

The university is "proceeding with a full investigation" of Mr.
Bailey, C. Bradley Moore, Northwestern's vice president for research, wrote
in a Nov. 12 letter to Anjelica Kieltyka.

Ms. Kieltyka complained to the university that the professor used her
and others as "guinea pigs" for his research and described them without
their consent in his book.

A former Northwestern psychology student who was born male, Ms.
Kieltyka had sex-change surgery in 1991 and now describes herself as a
lesbian. Ms. Kieltyka said Mr. Bailey's book describes her, using the
pseudonym "Cher," as the "poster child" for one of his theories about

Neither Mr. Bailey nor Northwestern officials have made any public
statement about the ethics investigation, and did not respond yesterday to
requests for comment.

In December, Rep. Dave Weldon, Florida Republican, condemned as
"disgusting" Mr. Bailey's study of women's sexual arousal that received a
$147,000 grant from a division of the National Institutes of Health. Women
were paid as much as $75 each to "watch a series of commercially available
film clips, some of which will be sexually explicit, while we monitor your
body's sexual arousal," according to a flier seeking volunteers.

Mr. Weldon and other House Republicans have accused NIH of diverting
taxpayer dollars away from potentially life-saving research to pay for such
sex studies.

In July, the House narrowly rejected an amendment by Rep. Patrick J.
Toomey, Pennsylvania Republican, that would have blocked NIH funding for
four sex research projects.

Mr. Toomey could not be reached yesterday for comment on
Northwestern's ethics investigation of Mr. Bailey.

Ms. Kieltyka said she met Mr. Bailey while working in the 1990s as an
advocate for individuals seeking sex-change treatment. She said Mr. Bailey
agreed to interview several Chicago-area transsexuals and help them qualify
for sex-change surgery (two letters of approval from psychiatrists or
clinical psychologists are required prior to surgery). But Ms. Kieltyka
said Mr. Bailey did not tell the women they would be featured in his book.

"We didn't even know we were guinea pigs," Ms. Kieltyka told the Daily
Northwestern, the university's newspaper.

Another of Mr. Bailey's subjects, who remains anonymous, wrote in a
July letter to the university that when the professor interviewed her in
1998, her "sole purpose of meeting with Dr. Bailey was to obtain the most
important [approval] letter for my [sex-change] surgery," and was never
aware that the professor intended to use her as a research subject.

"Bailey is an embarrassment to the entire field of academic
psychology," said Lynn Conway, a computer scientist and University of
Michigan professor who helped initiate the investigation of Mr. Bailey's work.

Ms. Conway, who underwent sex-change surgery in 1968, called Mr.
Bailey "the Milli Vanilli of sex research."


A "Milli Vanilli" is an artful, inauthentic poser.
In exposing Bailey as an artful, inauthentic poser rather than a true scientist, we similarly expose much of the field of academic psychology. The field of academic psychology not only tolerates such inauthentic posers but frequently applauds them when they write unscientific but best-selling "controversy-generation" books...
Well now, what are some clues the average person can use to detect such fraudulent scientists?
Unfalsifiable theory = junk science:
First and foremost, beware of theories that are unfalsifiable, i.e., that cannot be tested and disproven by finding counter-examples or counter-evidence.
For example, whenever a transsexual woman comes forward and states her their case doesn't neatly fit into the causal classification categories of Bailey's "theory of transsexualism", Bailey announces that she is lying. Bailey simply asserts that his classification of her case is scientifically correct, and that anything the woman says to the contrary is a deliberate lie.
Such a theory is "unfalsifiable", because no case can ever be found that disagrees with the theory. In the case of Bailey's theory, if a potential counter-example case is found, Bailey announces that the person is lying about their story. ( Note: A corollary of Bailey's theory of transsexualism is that all transsexual women are liars...convenient, eh? )
Any "scientist" who publishes and widely proclaims as "scientific fact" such unfalsifiable theories would be immediately be exposed and laughed right out of the hard sciences, usually by young graduate students seeking career visibility by finding serious flaws in an elder's work.
Bailey is such a person, and should be laughed right out of academic psychology. His theory is unfalsifiable, and thus is junk science. It's that simple folks...
However, such critiques and exposures simply do not happen in the field of academic psychology. Instead, arrogant practitioners such as Bailey often claim a Freudian telepathic capability for looking into people's minds and "knowing what they are thinking". Once such claims are generally accepted and never questioned by other practitioners, it is easy for an entire field to go down the slippery slope into junk science based on intuition, speculation and ideology - science that is "proven" by studies that prove what they set out to prove.
Defending junk science by attacking those who question it:
Another very strong clue that a scientist's work is not science is if, in defending their work against specific scientific arguments, they turn on their critics and make personal attacks on them. Bailey does this by calling his transsexual critics "liars", and then labelling them with the defamatory "scientific" names for their "type of transsexual". Bailey carries this defense technique one step further when dealing with his non-trans critics:
In dealing with his critics, Bailey has invoked the last defense of the modern bigot:
everyone who disagrees is a politically correct lunatic trying to censor him.
- a Bailey book reader from Brewster, MA
Before the Bailey book controversy arose, Bailey was making such accusations against a number of Republican congressmen who dared to question his sex research - saying that they were politically-correct right-wingers trying to stop science and censor him.
Then, when the book controversy broke, he made similar accusations against specific individual transsexual women who questioned his science, saying things like "they just don't like what science says about them!", they're a bunch of "homosexual men and sex perverts" who are lying about their lives, and "they're trying to censor my work!"
Then when the broader range of gay and lesbian media and transgender advocacy groups began to question his work, and began questioning Bailey's refusals to directly respond to scientific critiques, he turned "victim" and began to say that a bunch of "activists" were out to censor and stop his scientific work.
And now it has come full circle, as the Washington Times reminds us that the conservative right has been questioning Bailey all along! When gay and lesbian media, transgender advocacy media, large numbers of socially assimilated trans women and conservative republicans are all saying that a scientist's work is total junk and harmful to boot, you gotta know that something must really be wrong with that "science"...
An epidemic of Milli-Vanillism in academic psychology?
The wrongness of Bailey's work is pretty obvious to many people now, for the reasons given above. Nevertheless, the field of academic psychology is still defending Bailey. After all, who are we to question the deeply scientific work of psychologists, mind-readers that they are?
Young graduate students in psychology, caught up in this corrupt system, learn to keep quiet and to never question their elder's scientific proclamations. They instead try to emulate the political and ideological techniques their elders exploited to become "leaders" in their field...and thus the field propagates itself as a non-science.
Remember that Bailey is no "minor academic". He is a full professor of psychology, and is the Chairman of the Psychology Department at Northwestern University, a major, highly respected US university. He is thus an esteemed role-model for young psychology graduate students. His methods of doing research, and for defending his work by personally attacking his critics, are presumably being deeply instilled in many students minds at Northwestern.
Being exposed as never questioning their own, of closing ranks against any critiques of their science by "outsiders", and of having no means of evaluating and insuring the scientific quality of the research in their field, academic psychology has thus itself come into question - under the spotlight of the expanding Bailey investigation...

"Investigative report into the publication of
J. Michael Bailey's book on transsexualism
by the National Academies"