A professor teaching at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Fredonia is under review after video clips of him defending pedophilia started circulating on social media.
In a series of clips shared on Twitter by popular account @libsoftiktok, Fredonia Philosophy professor Stephen Kershnar defends having sex with a 12-year-old girl.
'It's Not Obvious to Me That is In Fact Wrong'
"Imagine that an adult male wants to have sex with a 12-year-old girl. Imagine that she's a willing participant. A very standard, very widely held view is there's something deeply wrong about this. And it's wrong independent of it being criminalized," Kershnar says in the video.
"It's not obvious to me that is in fact wrong. I think this is a mistake. And I think that exploring why it's a mistake will tell us not only things about adult-child sex and statutory rape, but also about fundamental principles of morality," he added.
The clips appear to be from a YouTube video published on Jan. 30 to the account "Brain in a Vat," which publishes "thought experiments and discussions with philosophers."
Kershnar Cites Example of Grandmothers Performing Fellatio as a Calming Technique for Colicky Babies
In another clip, Kershnar says, ""the notion that it's wrong [to have sexual relations] even with a one-year-old, it's not quite obvious to me." He pointed out that in "at least one culture," there are reports of grandmothers allegedly "fellating their baby boys to calm them down when they're colicky."
He also likened children consenting to sex to them consenting to playing sports like kickball or preparing for their Bar Mitzvah.
"So there's all sorts of things that [children] will, you might think, 'well, maybe there's something distinct about sex and they can't really understand it.' It's not clear to me that what they're not getting at is consent," he said.
"There's lots of activities that children engage in that they don't understand all that well. For example, when you, when you first show up to participate in a Judo tournament, or you prepare for your Bar Mitzvah," he added.
Who is Stephen Kershnar?
Kershnar's LinkedIn page shows he has been an employee of the State University of New York system for 23 years. His bio page for Fredonia outlines he is an attorney and has written on topics: "abortion, adult-child sex, hell, most valuable player, pornography, punishment, sexual fantasies, slavery, and torture."
He has also authored publications titled, "Pedophilia and Adult-Child Sex: A Philosophical Analysis," "A Liberal Argument for Slavery," and "Does the Pro-Life Worldview Make Sense?: Abortion, Hell, and Violence Against Abortion Doctors."
University President Issues Statement, Calls Keshnar's Views 'Reprehensible'
SUNY Fredonia President Stephen Kolison condemned the video, which has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times on Twitter, Tuesday evening.
"SUNY Fredonia is aware of a video posted online involving one of its professors," the statement read. "The views expressed by the professor are reprehensible and do not represent the values of SUNY Fredonia in any way, shape or form. They are solely the professor's views. The matter is being reviewed," Kolison wrote in the statement.