How Scammer Sex Scientist Passed Himself off as a Doctor

The fraud exploited the medical and journalistic fields to make himself seem credible.

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The website IFLS — an offshoot of the wildly popular Facebook group I F*cking Love Science — published an extremely not-safe-for-work study about bestiality and “butt-fisting;” but the truly unsafe part was that it was totally fake.

Damian Jacob Markiewicz Sendler has been tricking research journals and reporters into publishing his own dubious statements for a long time, perhaps even past that 2017 “study,” a report by Gizmodo revealed last week.

Sendler, 28, as Slate describes him, has fashioned himself as a Harvard-trained “sexologist,” with a job as a top researcher at a foundation and a passion for documenting some of the further-flung aspects of human desire. But Sendler has no degree from Harvard, his foundation doesn’t appear to exist and it’s safe to guess that there’s little-to-no science behind his papers. But despite all this, Sendler provided expert commentary to HuffPost, Playboy, Men’s Health, Forbes and Dan Savage’s sex advice podcast.

And he’s somehow still not backing down. Sendler initially published a long statement to his website aggressively defending himself, noting that “not a single person” had ever filed concerns about his conduct as a researcher. On Sunday he amended his message to a shorter, more mild defense of his research.

Sendler seemingly got away with passing off his studies as legitimate by claiming they’d gone through extensive peer reviews and, inadvertently, revealed a gaping hole in the scientific community’s publishing process.

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