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spacer  Thursday July 31, 2003
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Digital Partners Network


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IN CAMPUS
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Third complaint filed against sex research
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By Jennifer Leopoldt
July 24, 2003

Another transsexual woman who met Northwestern Prof. J. Michael Bailey while receiving a clearance letter for sex change surgery has filed a formal complaint with NU, saying Bailey used information from an interview with her without telling her she was a research subject.

Her claim, filed Wednesday, is the third thus far, following a July 3 complaint from Anjelica Kieltyka, a psychology student in NU's School of Continuing Studies, and a July 14 complaint from another woman.

Officials in NU's Office of Research received the complaints and are aware of the identities of the second and third claimants, but the women have chosen to remain otherwise anonymous.

The claimants met Bailey through Kieltyka, who brought Latina transsexual women to Bailey between 1994 and 1998 in her role as a transsexual advocate. Bailey interviewed them and wrote letters recommending sex-reassignment surgery.

All three complaints allege Bailey never asked the women to sign consent forms or alerted them that they were research subjects. His latest book, "The Man Who Would Be Queen," includes stories of some women he interviewed.

Bailey, chair of NU's psychology department, also invited some of the women to speak in his human sexuality class. Two of the complaints allege that Bailey misrepresented them to students.

"The damage to our lives and the lives of all the other Hispanic Transexual women who were unwitting research subjects and 'guest lecturers' is irretrievable," the second complaint states.

Bailey said students often find it "very rewarding" to watch the women present in class.

"Reading about science can be dry," he said. "Seeing real people often helps."

Kieltyka said although Bailey did not ask the women to sign consent forms, he told them he was writing a book and they verbally gave consent for him to use their stories. Still, she said they did not know the book would be marketed as research.

Bailey's book upholds sex researcher Ray Blanchard's theory of two types of transsexuals -- homosexual transsexuals and autogynephilics. The third complaint calls the classifications "insidiously malicious, demeaning and libelous."

But Bailey said he stands by his book.

"I didn't write the book so groups would like or dislike me," he said. "I wrote it so people could learn about stuff."

Bailey said he knew his work would be controversial and assumed some people might speak against his beliefs.

"I was not totally surprised at the reaction," Bailey said. "I was surprised at the degree of hostility and how relentless they've been."


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