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University professor sparks fury after claiming sexual attraction to children isn’t always immoral

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,’ or MAPs.

Allyn Walker, who is transgender and teaches sociology and criminal justice as an assistant 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, published by the University of California Press.

Walker, who uses the pronouns they/them, said in a recent online interview with the Prostasia Foundation, a child advocacy group that promotes child sex doll usage: ‘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 toward minors.’ 

Walker earned their PhD at CUNY Graduate Center in 2017, according to the university’s website, and specializes in mental health, court systems, queer criminology and ‘resilience to offending.’

‘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 November 7 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.’  

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. 

On Tuesday, students also held a protest at the school over Walker’s work and recent interview.

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.’

Neither Old Dominion nor University of California Press has responded DailyMail.com’s requests for comment.

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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

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

An alumni of Old Dominion said they were ‘disgusted’ at the university’s decision 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 more than 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 later 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. 

They said the term ‘minor-attracted persons’ 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.’ 

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 destigmatization of pedophilia

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 destigmatization 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)

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

Thus far, a 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

‘Pedophiles do not deserve sympathy or a platform of any sort,’ wrote petition backer Kimberly Price

Since the petition to remove Walker from Old Dominion's staff was launched, the professor has deleted their Twitter account

Since the petition to remove Walker from Old Dominion’s staff was launched, the professor has deleted their Twitter account

 Walker’s book, published in June, 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. 

Walker has penned a book attempting to destigmatize pedophilia titled A Long Dark Shadow: Minor-Attracted People and Their Pursuit of Dignity

Walker has penned a book attempting to destigmatize pedophilia titled A Long Dark Shadow: Minor-Attracted People and Their Pursuit of Dignity

Walker’s PhD thesis, titled ‘Understanding Resilience Strategies among Minor-Attracted Individuals’ takes another shocking stance on the treatment of pedophilia, arguing that pedophiles should be permitted to view child pornography as a ‘harm reduction technique’ or ‘form of therapy’ to help pedophiles ‘maintain abstinence from sexual contact with children.’

‘Among some groups of predisposed individuals, easy access to a wide variety of engrossing and high-quality child pornography could serve as a substitute for involvement with actual victims,’ Walker wrote.

Criminologist Evin Daly, CEO of Florida-based child advocacy agency One Child International Inc., told DailyMail.com that he felt ‘the professor would be smart to readdress the terminology that they are using.’

‘There is no destigmatization of people who are sexually attracted to children,’ he said. 

‘Their overall theory is correct, their wish to redefine pedophiles is correct – there’s a difference between fantasy and behavior. But their terminology is leaning in a way that is trying to destigmatize pedophilia – how do you destigmatize wanting to have sex with children?’

‘Any sexual activity with children is rape. That’s like calling an adult rapist who rapes women by some soft and gentle term.’

Walker earned their PhD at CUNY Graduate Center in 2017, according to the university's website, and specializes in mental health, court systems, queer criminology and 'resilience to offending'

Walker earned their PhD at CUNY Graduate Center in 2017, according to the university’s website, and specializes in mental health, court systems, queer criminology and ‘resilience to offending’

As for Walker’s graduate thesis, Daly didn’t mince words. 

‘They speak about child pornography as if it’s some abstract idea. It isn’t,’ Daly told DailyMail.com 

‘The generation of child pornography is a crime… Discussing viewing it even in a intellectual way is discussing how a crime will benefit a criminal – viewing it is a crime as I have said. Even conducting research would involve a crime as described.’

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 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.’ 

A slurry of Twitter users were baffled and appalled by Walker’s stance: 

‘Allyn Walker [thinks] it’s okay to be sexually attracted to minors as long as you don’t act on it,’ wrote @DJDeMario1. 

‘This psycho must be fired and committed. Sick.’ 

Another user posted a picture of the professor defending their thesis, standing beside a PowerPoint presentation with the work’s title: ‘Understanding Resilience Strategies among Minor-Attracted Individuals.’

User @ConceptualJames renamed the presentation: ‘Understanding groomers and the direct connections between Queer Theory, “comprehensive sex education,” pedophilia, and grooming in government and private schools.’ 

Texas Senator Ted Cruz also waded into the debate, saying: ‘Holy c***. What the hell is wrong with ODU?’ 

A slurry of Twitter users were baffled and appalled by Walker's stance

A slurry of Twitter users were baffled and appalled by Walker’s stance

User @ConceptualJames renamed Walker's presentation: 'Understanding groomers and the direct connections between Queer Theory, "comprehensive sex education," pedophilia, and grooming in government and private schools'

User @ConceptualJames renamed Walker’s presentation: ‘Understanding groomers and the direct connections between Queer Theory, “comprehensive sex education,” pedophilia, and grooming in government and private schools’

Texas Senator Ted Cruz waded into the debate, saying: 'Holy c***. What the hell is wrong with ODU?'

Texas Senator Ted Cruz 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.’ 

The professor said they had counselled victims of sexual violence, which had helped form their views.

But college officials distanced themselves from the comments: ‘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.’

Walker clarified that child sex abuse is 'never, ever OK' but said sexual urges toward minors are not necessarily immoral

Walker clarified that child sex abuse is ‘never, ever OK’ but said sexual urges toward 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'

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

Walker’s stance on the treatment of pedophiles, or ‘minor-attracted persons,’ has sparked outrage online

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