Anjelica Kieltyka, a Chicago transsexual woman, artist and bon vivant, made short work of J. Michael Bailey, a controversial Northwestern University professor of psychology in their much-ballyhooed genital-arousal matchup televised nationally on the Jerry Springer show this afternoon.
The competitive challenge arose from a dispute between Kieltyka and Bailey about each other's sexual arousal patterns, which came to light as the result of the publication of a book by Bailey about transsexual women, in which he divulged details of Kieltyka's private and purportedly scandalous sexual behavior. Public interest in the issue was heightened by the widespread dissemination of Kieltyka's objections regarding the veracity of the book's content and by her suggestion that the professor's work might have been motivated by considerations other than those of the typical dispassionate academic.
Springer, who recently announced his candidacy for the U. S. Senate from the State of Ohio, is well-known for his television shows which frequently feature unusual sexual themes, including transsexualism. Springer noted, "I am very sensitive about the criticism that has been leveled at my shows for being shallow and sensationalistic. Although I am now a declared Senatorial candidate, I believe it would be cowardly to shy away from subject matter that I am fond of presenting to the public, even if it could have some negative impact on my chances of being elected next year. Instead, I felt that it would be better to bring a greater seriousness to the subject matter, and I decided that the best way to do this would be to address these topics in a more 'scientific' manner."
The writers for the Springer show discovered the existence of a device called a plethysmograph, which is used to measure the flow of blood in various parts of the body. It can be adapted to measure blood flow in the genitals of men and women, and under controlled conditions can be used to assess a person's sexual arousal to visual, auditory, tactile, and other stimuli. The plethysmography technique is very controversial and is rarely allowed, for example, as evidence in a court of law, because the interpretation of the test results is very problematical. However, such fine distinctions are seldom of importance to an eager TV audience or to any other group whose ox is not being gored.
After Ms. Kieltyka and Mr. Bailey agreed to appear on the Springer show, negotiations ensued on its format. It was decided that Kieltyka and Bailey would be allowed to select five different visual stimuli to be shown to the other person while he or she was connected to the machine. The object of the test was to ascertain what material would sexually stimulate the person being tested, and the results would also be an important demonstration of the validity of the each person's hunches about the other's sexual turn-ons.
In order to guarantee an air of scientific rationality and impartiality to the show, a three-person panel was lined up to supervise the installation of the equipment and the administration of the live televised testing. The panel consisted of representatives from RUF-SODS (Righteous United Families to Stamp Out Deviant Sexuality), NARDLA (North American Rubber Ducky Love Association) and the Nobel Prize-winning former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.
The visual stimuli selected by Professor Bailey for showing to Ms. Kieltyka were:
The visual stimuli selected by Ms. Kieltyka for showing to Mr. Bailey were:
Professor Bailey's results clearly showed a high level of sexual interest in all of the visual material shown him, whereas the reverse was the case for Ms. Kieltyka. Professor Bailey, visibly angry and somewhat shaken after the test results were announced, commented, "I will admit that being a minor celebrity invited onto the Springer Show is an enormous turn-on for me, and I am sure that this is what has so grossly distorted my scores here today." With that, he abruptly stormed off the stage.
Ms. Kieltyka, given her turn to comment, stated, "This merely shows that I understand Mr. Bailey far more than he understands me, and it further suggests that I might be more qualified to occupy his academic chair than he is. I also want to add that the material he chose for me to view reveals even more about his own sexual interests, and it's a shame he was not obliged to view those five items as well as the ones I selected."
One final word came from a joint statement issued by the panel of distinguished experts who oversaw the testing. In part, it said, "The interpretation of test results such as these is likely to remain an art, not a science, for a long time, if not forever. However, we suspect from what we have witnessed here today that there is a strong chance Professor Bailey is a heterosexual man who would prefer to be gay, and that he is envious of transsexual women who have medical options to change their natal genital sex, whereas there unfortunately as yet exists no method by which a straight man can be transformed into a gay man."
*This article by Sonia John is part of a collection of humorous and satirical pages regarding the publication of the book "The Man who would be Queen" by the now disgraced researcher J. Michael Bailey.** See for example the historical illustrations entitled "The Sinking of The Queen" by Anjelica Kieltyka, which establish the context for this page. See also more of Anjelica's cartoons, and reviews of Bailey's book such as the one by Karen Anderson.
**For serious commentary on Bailey's fall into disgrace by respected independent observers, see the following pages:
02-11-04: Dr. Joan Roughgarden publishes "The Bailey Affair: Psychology Perverted"
03-19-04: UKPFC News: "Psychology Perverted" - A Response by UK Psychologists.
04-30-05: Dr. Eli Coleman rebukes Bailey's book in plenary address at IFGE 2005.
07-08-05: FAIR Action Alert: New York Times Suggests Bisexuals Are "Lying". Paper fails to disclose study author's controversial history
07-11-05: NGLTF Press Release: "National Gay and Lesbian Task Force denounces New York Times story..." (Fact Sheet, PDF)
08-01-05: Dr. Walter Bockting reviews, rebuts and rebukes Bailey's book in The Journal of Sex Research:
08-22-05: Dr. Loraine Hutchins reports on "Sexual Prejudice: The erasure of bisexuals in academia and the media" in American Sexuality Magazine.
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