A transgender professor from Old Dominion University has been placed on leave after a video of them advocating in support of people sexually attracted to children went viral on social media.
In the video, Professor Allyn Walker provided a positive stance on people termed “MAP” or Minor Attracted People. In an interview with Prostasia Foundation, Walker argued that stigma surrounding pedophilia “can lead to harm.”
The interview also led to Walker defending the term MAP because “the group want other to use” this term for their sexual attraction and inclination towards children. Despite having worked with victims of sexual violence, Walker went on to argue that the criminal processing system of pedophiles/MAPs cultivates institutional harms.
Prostasia is a California-based organization that has campaigned nationally and internationally to end bans on child-like sex dolls, artwork depicting pedophilia and sexual imagery of children, and called out companies like Tumblr for banning inappropriate language involving children.
Walker has studied non-offending MAPs, leading to the release of a book urging for “dignity” for pedophiles. After an outcry regarding Walker’s beliefs and behaviors, Old Dominion University placed the professor on leave “for their safety.”
The university also released the following statement:
“Old Dominion University has placed Dr. Allyn Walker on administrative leave, effective immediately, from their position as assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice.”
Reactions to Dr. Walker’s research and book have led to concerns for their safety and that of the campus.
Furthermore, 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.
“I want to state in the strongest terms possible that child sexual abuse is morally wrong and has no place in our society,” said ODU President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D. “This is a challenging time for our University, but I am confident that we will come together and move forward as a Monarch family.”
The actions we are taking today are motivated by our obligation to maintain a safe and conducive learning environment for our students, faculty, and staff.”
Dr. Allyn Walker has released the following statement:
“I want to be clear: child sexual abuse is morally wrong and inexcusable crime. As an assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice, the goal of my research is to prevent crime. My work is informed by my past experience and advocacy as a social worker counseling victims. 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.”