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J. Michael Bailey vs. transgender people

John Michael “Mike” Bailey (born 1951) is an American psychologist, considered one of the most unethical sexologists in history. Bailey’s checkered career is a series of ethics scandals and controversies.

Since 2003 this site has documented Bailey’s central role in the academic exploitation of sex and gender minorities. One history book says my work coordinating the community response to anti-trans academics “represented one of the most organized and unified examples of transgender activism seen to date.” In 2021 the United States Library of Congress selected this site for archiving because it is “an important part of this collection and the historical record.”

Bailey’s notable ethical scandals

Children and sex

  • supporting “many offending pedophiles who are usually punished far more harshly than research suggests is warranted by the harm they cause.”
  • supporting leniency for a rapist whose victims are infants and young children: “if he didn’t physically hurt them, and if they didn’t remember traumatically, his actions should be penalized less than had he physically hurt them and they did remember.”
  • promulgating the concept of “pre-homosexual” children: “pre-homosexual children tend to be relatively gender nonconforming.”
  • claiming to know the sexual orientation of children
  • supporting fired sexologist Kenneth Zucker, whose “therapy” of gender diverse children has been widely outlawed and described as “child abuse”
  • supporting penile plethysmography, a controversial device for measuring genital arousal; some sexologists have attached plethysmographs to the penises of children to measure their erections for “research”


  • dissertation advisor and mentor Lee Willerman was a member of the American Eugenics Society
  • stating it is “morally acceptable” to screen for and abort gay fetuses: “selection for heterosexuality may benefit parents and children and is unlikely to cause significant harm.”
  • arguing that “offering sex offenders the opportunity to be castrated in return for a reduced sentence is not ethically problematic coercion.”
  • member of the Human Biodiversity Institute

Gay and lesbian

  • claiming that “evolutionarily, homosexuality is a big mistake.”
  • claiming homosexuality may represent a “developmental error.”


Northwestern students


  • fabricating the case report that led to getting tenure: the “Danny Ryan” transgender cure narrative
  • misusing images and video of gender diverse children without their knowledge or consent as part of a lurid sexualized presentation that drew laughter from future clinicians
  • writing The Man Who Would Be Queen, widely considered one of the most transphobic books in history
    • featuring case reports in the book without consent
    • offering clinical assessments to satisfy gatekeeping models without being licensed by the state
    • attempting to have sex with at least one of the transgender book subjects / clients
    • working closely with historian Alice Dreger to cover up these ethical scandals
  • making deliberately low population estimates of LGBT people
  • writing for and publicizing “gender critical” activists
  • supporting the ex-trans movement:
  • supporting nearly every disease model of gender identity and expression ever created
    • “gender identity disorder”
    • “gender dysphoria”
      • “early onset”
      • “adolescent onset”
      • “rapid onset”
      • “adult onset”
      • “caused by psychotic delusions”
    • “rapid onset gender dysphoria”
    • “autohomoerotic gender dysphoria”
    • paraphilic models, especially those of Ray Blanchard and Anne Lawrence
  • Signing a 2018 letter from hate group American College of Pediatricians to the Trump Administration. Bailey demanded “upholding the scientific definition of sex in law and policy,” adding “an individual who identifies as transgender remains either a biological male or female.”
  • 2023 retraction of a questionable paper on “rapid onset gender dysphoria” published in Archives of Sexual Behavior

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