Bailey accused of having sex with research subject

Sheila Burt and Sheila Burt

A sexual misconduct complaint against psychology Prof. J. Michael Bailey alleges he had sex with one of the transsexual woman featured in his most recent book, according to confidential records received by The Daily on Monday from transsexual advocates.

University officials would not confirm the complaint, and Bailey declined to comment on the allegations.

“When a person’s integrity is being questioned, there’s a well-defined process in which the allegations are very carefully considered and decisions are made,” said C. Bradley Moore, vice president for research .

According to the anonymous complaint filed July 23, Bailey had sexual relations with the woman, who was one of his research subjects at the time, in March of 1998 following a night out at a club frequented by female transsexuals.

The complaint was made public last month and received national media attention.

In the complaint the woman said she received a sexual reassignment surgery letter from Bailey in 1996 and later participated in a series of lectures for his Human Sexuality class.

University officials launched a full investigation in November regarding allegations that Bailey featured stories from transsexual women in his latest book without receiving their consent, according to a letter from Moore to a transsexual advocate that The Daily received in November.

Since July at least five complaints have been filed questioning Bailey’s research methods for his book, “The Man Who Would Be Queen,” published in May.

Although the sexual misconduct complaint was filed with the others, it was not revealed until mid-December, after NU told the woman that the the sex charges would not be part of NU’s full investigation, said Lynn Conway, who filed a complaint supporting the transsexual woman mentioned in Bailey’s book.

“We felt quite shocked that it wouldn’t be part of the investigation,” said Conway, a University of Michigan professor emeritus of electrical engineering and computer science. “Northwestern has to take into account the national implications of what’s going on, otherwise they will not be able to grasp the egregious nature of his misconduct,” Conway said.

Anjelica Kieltyka, a transsexual advocate and former psychology student in the School of Continuing Studies, said she hopes the NU committee will look into the allegations and beyond.

“Without that opportunity I question the validity of the investigation,” said Kieltyka, a Chicago artist.

Kieltyka, who submitted the first complaint about Bailey’s research methods and is featured under the pseudonym “Cher” in his book, called the sexual allegations only part of Bailey’s misconduct and ethical wrongdoing.

In his book Bailey uses pseudonyms for three transsexuals he met when writing letters to recommend their sex change operations. The book follows sex researcher Ray Blanchard’s theory that transsexuals are either homosexuals or autogynephilics, men who are aroused by the idea of themselves as women.

One of the complaints calls the classifications “insidiously malicious, demeaning and libelous.”

Kieltyka, Conway and transsexual advocate Andrea James also sent an e-mail to NU administrators Monday regarding a new Intelligence Report from the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights organization, on violence against transgendered individuals. The report features a sidebar that mentions Bailey and discusses a “cadre” of scientists and journalists who try “to turn back the clock on sex, gender and race.”

Heidi Beirich, a senior writer for the Intelligence Report who helped with the story, said she found Bailey’s book “horribly stereotypical.”

“Our goal is to educate people about this type of research — to let them know what’s going on,” she said.

The women ask that NU formally conveys their e-mail and the SPLC Report to NU’s investigating committee.