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Call to sack Winchester University professor over 'child molestation damage' claims

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A campaign group that opposes the redefinition of family is calling on Winchester University to sack a Professor who told students that the "damage that’s caused by child molestation is socially constructed by the western world" and went on to brag of having slept with “easily over 1000 people”, saying “I like sex with 16, 17, 18 year old boys particularly.”

Alan Craig, leader of 'Because Children Matter' has written to the University's Vice-Chancellor, calling on her to sack Eric Anderson who is Professor of ‘Sport, Masculinities and Sexualities’ in light of these and other comments that he has made. The group has also begun a leafleting campaign in the centre of Winchester.

During his lecture to Oxford University's LGBTQ group in 2011, Prof Anderson said that Christianity was "the most disgusting religion in the history of mankind” and called Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury and now Master of Magdalene College Cambridge, an “a***hole”, “a total bigot” and “a f***ing liar” according to a report published at the time.

He also claimed that his previous employer, the University of Bath, "practically ran me out of town because they couldn't stand my research".

'My intention is to offend you'

According to the report Prof Anderson told the students: "my intention is to offend you". He listed a number of extreme sexual practices, warning listeners “If you’re offended by discussion [of these things] then you should probably leave.”

He is reported to have laughingly agreed with the suggestion of being a ‘sexual predator’ and to have said, "I like sex with 16, 17, 18 year old boys particularly, it’s getting harder for me to get them but I'm still finding them… I hope between the age of 43 and the time I die I can have sex with another thousand, that would be awesome, even if I have to buy them, of course, not a problem, you pay for all kinds of entertainment and pleasure."

The report in The Oxford Student newspaper also indicates that “he said that he and his boyfriend like to travel on cruise ships because 'it's like sex tourism, which is just amazing' and 'I always screw the dancers'. He went on to say 'we stop at a different port every night, go to a gay club every night and have sex with people… you don't need to know their names'".

'Unfit to hold position of trust'

Members of ‘Because Children Matter’ believe that the statements illustrate why Prof Anderson is unfit to hold office at Winchester University.

"The University of Winchester mission statement is 'to educate, to advance knowledge and to serve the public good'. The attitude, behaviour and views of Professor Anderson are totally against all that Winchester University – or any university of excellence - stands for," said Alan Craig, the group’s leader.

Leafleting campaign

The group has decided to take the issue to the people of Winchester. Representatives will today hand out leaflets in Winchester city centre highlighting some of the statements that Prof Anderson has made.

Alan Craig added: "The people of Winchester deserve to know the truth about Prof Anderson's extreme views, given the public profile that he has pursued and the position of trust that he has in the University in educating and influencing students."

Key stakeholders alerted

Over the weekend, 'Because Children Matter' wrote to the University Vice-Chancellor and Board of Governors (which includes the Bishop of Winchester) calling for Professor Anderson to be removed from his post.

The group has also contacted key university stakeholders, including headteachers of feeder secondary schools and sixth-form colleges, leaders and education chiefs of Winchester City and Hampshire County Councils, and Steve Brine, MP for Winchester, drawing attention to Professor Anderson’s published views.

Court hearing next week

Next week Prof Anderson faces a hearing at Winchester County Court for an alleged assault at the end of a lecture he gave at Bournemouth University in 2012.

David Skinner, 70, who campaigns against the redefinition of family, is bringing the case against Mr Anderson, alleging that Mr Anderson forcibly removed Mr Skinner from the lecture hall after Mr Skinner challenged his views.

Related Coverage:
Christians urge sacking of gay lecturer with ‘1,000 conquests’ (Telegraph)
Lets hear it for the breaking down of hegemonic structures (The Spectator)