A university professor has sparked outrage after claiming it is not immoral for adults to be sexually attracted to children and saying pedophiles should instead be called ‘minor-attracted persons.’
Allyn Walker, who is transgender and teaches sociology and criminal justice at Old Dominion University in Virginia, has penned a controversial book attempting to destigmatize pedophilia titled A Long Dark Shadow: Minor-Attracted People and Their Pursuit of Dignity.
An online petition calling for Walker to be fired has attracted thousands of signatures as of Tuesday, with current students at the college branding their remarks ‘gross’ and ‘weird.’ Since it was launched three days ago, the professor has deleted their Twitter account.
But Old Dominion has so far rejected the clamor to remove Walker, only distancing itself from the comments and saying it ‘does not endorse or promote crimes against children.’
An alumni of Old Dominion said they were ‘disgusted’ at the university’s response to ‘protect someone that is an advocate for pedophiles.’
Thus far, the Change.org petition calling for Walker’s removal from the school’s staff has amassed nearly 3,000 signatures. ‘Pedophiles do not deserve sympathy or a platform of any sort,’ wrote petition backer Kimberly Price.
‘They thrive off power structures. Giving them the opportunity to be seen and heard will only put more children in danger. This person does not deserve to teach if this is their ideals.’
Walker, who uses the pronouns they/them, had said in an online interview with the Prostasia Foundation, a child protection organization: ‘A lot of people when they hear the term ‘pedophile’, they automatically assume that it means a sex offender, and that isn’t true.
‘And it leads to a lot of misconceptions about attractions towards minors.
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Allyn Walker, a transgender professor at Old Dominion University in Virginia, has penned a controversial book attempting to destigmatize pedophilia titled A Long Dark Shadow: Minor-Attracted People and Their Pursuit of Dignity
Nearly 3,000 people have signed a petition for Allyn Walker’s removal from Old Dominion University’s staff after the assistant professor (pictured), who teaches sociology and criminal justice, promoted their book that calls for the de-stigmatization of pedophilia
Walker has sparked outrage after claiming it is not immoral for adults to be sexually attracted to children (pictured during an interview with the Prostasia Foundation, a child protection organization)
Thus far, a Change.org petition calling for Walker’s removal from the school’s staff has amassed nearly 3,000 signatures
Since the petition to remove Walker from Old Dominion’s staff was launched, the professor has deleted their Twitter account
Walker’s book gives voice to ‘non-offending MAPs’ and consists primarily of interviews with self-identified pedophiles and vignettes from their lives, according to the book’s description online.
‘From my perspective, there is no morality or immorality attached to attraction to anyone because no one can control who they’re attracted to at all,’ Walker said during the interview.
‘In other words, it’s not who we’re attracted to that’s either OK or not OK. It’s our behaviors in responding to that attraction that are either OK or not OK.’
Walker clarified that child sex abuse is ‘never, ever OK’ but said sexual urges toward minors are not necessarily immoral, as long as they are not acted upon.
Walker has penned a book attempting to destigmatize pedophilia titled A Long Dark Shadow: Minor-Attracted People and Their Pursuit of Dignity
They said the term ‘minor-attracted persons,’ or MAPs, will help destigmatize people who do not act upon their urges.
They continued: ‘We have a tendency to want to categorize people with these attractions as evil or morally corrupt.
‘But when we’re talking about non-offending MAPs, these are people who have an attraction they didn’t ask for.
‘So, their behaviors are moral. But they’re still being subjected to this same idea that they’re bad people and they’ve often internalized that for themselves.’
Walker’s comments were met with immense backlash after being shared on social media.
‘We do not need to change the ‘terminology’ for pedophiles, read Dr. Walker’s book, or receive lessons about giving ‘pedophiles dignity,’ Mikiah Everett, who identified as an ODU alumnus in the petition for Dr. Walker’s removal, said.
‘I am disgusted at their response to protect someone that is an advocate for pedophiles and affiliated with the organization Prostasia (a pedophilia advocate group under the guise of a children protection organization.) Dr. Walker has crossed a line and has dressed it up in academic jargon.’
Texas Senator Ted Cruz also waded into the debate, saying: ‘Holy c***. What the hell is wrong with ODU?’
The professor put out a statement Saturday along with the Old Dominion University in a bid to clarify the controversial remarks.
Walker said: ‘I want to be clear: child sexual abuse is an inexcusable crime.
‘As an assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice, the goal of my research is to prevent crime.
‘I embarked on this research in hopes of gaining understanding of a group that, previously, has not been studied in order to identify ways to protect children.’
‘Pedophiles do not deserve sympathy or a platform of any sort,’ wrote petition backer Kimberly Price
Texas Senator Ted Cruz waded into the debate, saying: ‘Holy c***. What the hell is wrong with ODU?’
Walker clarified that child sex abuse is ‘never, ever OK’ but said sexual urges towards minors are not necessarily immoral
The college (pictured) has since distanced itself from the comments, saying it ‘does not endorse or promote crimes against children’
Walker’s stance on the treatment of pedophiles, or ‘minor-attracted persons,’ has sparked outrage online
The professor said they had counselled victims of sexual violence which had helped form their views.
But college officials distanced themselves from the comments.
They said: ‘Following recent social media activity and direct outreach to the institution, it is important to share that Old Dominion, as a caring and inclusive community, does not endorse or promote crimes against children or any form of criminal activity.’
Walker has taught at the college since 2019 and some students said they were disturbed by the comments.
Jaelan Jackson told WTKR: ‘Honestly it just sounds gross. Just because you’re not acting on it, to acknowledge it is weird and not okay at all. It feels uncomfortable to know that someone’s like that on campus.’
Jonathan Mukmuye added: ‘I don’t think that it reflects poorly on the school, but I do think it’s weird that we have a professor that would think that.’