A sociology professor at Old Dominion University in Virginia said, “Adults’ sexual attraction toward minors isn’t immoral. “I want to be extremely clear that child sex abuse is never OK, but having an attraction to minors doesn’t mean the person having those attractions is doing something wrong.”
Video of Allyn Walker, an Assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice at the university, argued that “there is no morality or immorality attached to attraction to anyone” while discussing pedophiles or “minor-attracted persons” in an online conversation last Monday. Clips of Walker’s conversation, published on Twitter by @LibsofTikTok, had been viewed over 750,000 times at that time.
Walker sparked outcry after arguing that the term pedophile should be replaced by the euphemism “minor attracted persons” or “MAP” in a talk with the Protasia Foundation, a pedophile advocacy group that appears to have worked alongside and platformed a registered sex offender on at least one occasion. The group describes itself as “a new kind of child protection organization.”
“We have a tendency to want to categorize people with these kinds of attractions as evil or morally corrupt,” Walker said. “But when we’re talking about nonoffending MAPs, these are people who have an attraction they didn’t ask for.”
Walker recently published a book titled ‘A long, Dark Shadow: Minor-Attracted People and Their Pursuit of Dignity’ “that takes readers into the lives of non-offending (MAPs),” according to the book’s Amazon page.
Originally, Old Dominion University spoke out in support of Walker, releasing a statement defending the assistant professor. That statement began by saying “An academic community plays a valuable role in the quest for knowledge. A vital part of this is being willing to consider scientific and other empirical data that may involve controversial issues and perspectives.”
But one day later, the university released a new statement concerning the situation, writing “Old Dominion University has placed Dr. Allyn Walker, a transgender assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice, on administrative leave, effective immediately, following the professor’s advocacy for the destigmatization of pedophilia.
The statement goes on to say that “the controversy over Dr. Walker’s research has disrupted the campus and community environment and is interfering with the institution’s mission of teaching and learning.”
A quote from President Brian O. Hemphill was also included, saying “child sexual abuse is morally wrong and has no place in our society,” followed by a note that the decision to put Walker on leave was intended to “maintain a safe and conducive learning environment for our students, faculty, and staff.”
It has yet to be seen whether or not Walker will retain the same position at Old Dominion University, or whether the university will follow their decision with further penalties for pushing to destigmatize pedophilia.