What is the name of Allyn Walker? After backlash over pedophilia remarks, an ODU professor resigns.


What is the name of Allyn Walker? After backlash over pedophilia remarks, an ODU professor resigns.

Following criticism over the word “minor-attracted persons,” or “MAPs,” a university academic who referred to pedophiles as “minor-attracted people” or “MAPs” in a book targeted at preventing sexual abuse against children will resign.

Allyn Walker, a professor at Old Dominion University (ODU) in Norfolk, Virginia, was placed on administrative leave on November 16 after a backlash over the word, which opponents claimed destigmatized sex offenders.

Walker stated in a letter released following his resignation that the research was aimed at avoiding child abuse and that it had been “mischaracterized by some in the media and online, mainly because of my trans identity.”

“There were numerous threats made against me and the campus community as a whole,” Walker claimed.

A Long, Dark Shadow: Minor-Attracted People and Their Pursuit of Dignity, Walker’s book, was released in June. According to the publisher, University of California Press, the book refutes the notion that adults who are drawn to adolescents are “necessarily also predators and sex criminals.” However, it prompted over 14,000 individuals to sign a Change.org petition demanding Walker’s resignation. The petition stated, “We want to be clear that this is pedophilia and should not be considered a sexual preference.”

Despite the controversy surrounding the study, Walker received backing from other academics.

Walker’s “vital and ground-breaking” study was defended by more than 60 professors in sexual abuse prevention, mental health, human sexuality, and criminology in a letter to the ODU administration.

The letter stated that “the public outcry reflects a misunderstanding and mischaracterization of Walker’s study.”

“We urge you to consider the catastrophic repercussions for academic freedom” of dismissing a professor “because the issue of their research is emotionally charged, difficult to debate, and difficult to understand,” it continued.

Walker has decided to remain on administrative leave until May 2022, when he will stand down.

Walker commended the ODU Department of Public Safety “for monitoring the threats against me and the community” in a joint statement with ODU President Brian Hemphill on Wednesday.

Walker’s departure, Hemphill said, would be the “best way to move forward,” and the “safety and security” of people on campus “are of the highest concern.”

The ODU declined to comment when reached for comment. This is a condensed version of the information.


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