Allyn Walker: Old Dominion prof slammed for saying adults attracted to minors aren't immoral
Walker, an assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice at Old Dominion University, made the comments during an interview on Monday
A Virginia university professor said adults sexually attracted towards minors weren't immoral, sparking criticism from students.
Allyn Walker, an assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice at Old Dominion University, asserted there was "morality or immorality attached to attraction to anyone” while referring to pedophiles as “minor-attracted persons” in an online interview on Monday, November 8. 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 minor-attracted persons (MAPs),” per the book's Amazon page, the Washington Examiner reported.
“I want to be extremely clear that child sex abuse is never ever OK,” Walker said. “But having an attraction to minors doesn’t mean the person having those attractions is doing something wrong.”
Walker's comments came during an online conversation with the Prostasia Foundation, a San Francisco-based organization that describes itself as “a new kind of child protection organization.” Clips from the interview made waves on social media and accumulated hundreds of thousands of views after it was posted on Twitter by @LibsofTikTok.
🚨🚨🚨This non-binary assistant professor at Old Dominion University is trying to normalize the term MAP (Minor Attracted Persons) pic.twitter.com/riD6TdIt8k— Libs of Tik Tok (@libsoftiktok) November 12, 2021
“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 non-offending MAPs, these are people who have an attraction they didn’t ask for.” According to the ODU professor, the research couldn't determine whether “minor-attracted persons” could be classified as a specific sexual attraction. “My research touched upon the labels that MAPs use to describe themselves,” Walker said. “A lot of them have been really conscious about their choice of language because they don’t want to slander ... lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. So they’ll use language to ... distance themselves from LGB folks.”
Old Dominion University issued a statement following the controversial interview.
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. Following a recent interview that gained national attention, Dr. Allyn Walker has released the following statement.
"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. 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."
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.
Speaking to WTKR, students at Old Dominion criticized Walker's controversial comments while defending the university. "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," Jaelan Jackson said. "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," Jonathan Mukmuye added. "I think it more has to say about the individual itself instead of the university," Nick Fehrer chimed in. Walker has been a professor at Old Dominion University since 2019, per the outlet.