James Cantor

This content was last updated Nov. 20, 2023, 9:34 p.m. UTC

Dr. James M. Cantor is a Canadian-American psychologist based in Toronto, Canada who is best known for his academic work on pedophilia and his involvement with Prostasia, a controversial group that claims destigmatizing pedophilia can help decrease child sexual abuse. 

Cantor supports including pedophiles as a sexual orientation and considers many transgender people’s identity to be a fetish, in accordance with the work of his mentor Ray Blanchard. Cantor has also testified as an expert witness in favor of restricting the availability of health care to trans minors across the United States.

Pedophilia is NOT inherently wrong or harmful: Child molestation is.

Cantor on Twitter, 5 December 2019 (archived)

Education and Training

Cantor earned a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Computer Science from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. His experiences as a peer counselor led him to pursue a Master of Arts degree in Psychology from Boston University and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Clinical Psychology from McGill University in 1999.

Cantor performed his postdoctoral training under Ray Blanchard who is best known for the fringe theory of autogynephilia developed in the 1980s that posited that all transgender women who are not exclusively attracted to men were motivated to transition out of a sexual fetish for seeing themselves as women.

Pedophilia Research and Support for Prostasia

The bulk of Cantor’s published research has been on pedophilia, which he views as an orientation, having even expressed a desire to add a P to the LGBTQ+ acronym. He has acted as an advisor for the Prostasia Foundation, a US-based nonprofit that hosted a pedophile support group for anyone thirteen and older and has fought against legislation that outlaws sex dolls made to look like children.

Views on the Trans Community

Cantor has regularly engaged with and retweeted Twitter posts by the LGB Alliance, a British anti-trans activism group that exists to erode trans rights and drive a wedge between LGBTQ+ people. Cantor wrote an essay for Sexology Today defending British author J.K. Rowling, in which he called criticism of the author part of the “current climate of extremism.” The essay was unpopular with his peers in the field and led to him ending his association with the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality.

Court Appearances and Legislative Support

Cantor was hired as an expert witness by the Alliance for Defending Freedom for the case of B.P.J. v. West Virginia State Board of Education, which revolved around the rights of a transgender minor being allowed to play for her school’s all-girl sports teams. When questioned whether he could offer an insightful opinion on the House bill that led to the initial lawsuit and whether it served to protect women’s sports, Cantor stated he “[hadn’t] been asked that, no.”

In 2022, Cantor was hired by the state of Alabama in defense of the state’s Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act, a measure introduced to restrict the ability for minors to receive gender-affirming care. A federal judge temporarily blocked the measure while noting of Cantor “(1) his patients are, on average, thirty years old; (2) he had never provided care to a transgender minor under the age of sixteen; (3) he had never diagnosed a child or adolescent with gender dysphoria; (4) he had never treated a child or adolescent for gender dysphoria; (5) he had no personal experience monitoring patients receiving transitioning medications; and (6) he had no personal knowledge of the assessments or treatment methodologies used at any Alabama gender clinic.” As such, the judge gave his testimony “very little weight.”

Cantor was also hired as an expert by Florida’s Medicaid agency to assist in a project to limit access to transition in the state, a move which was criticized as an attempt to substitute holders of fringe anti-trans views for legitimate sources of scientific expertise in the field. 

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