A transgender professor who called for pedophilia to have the social stigma against them removed has been forced to resign from his position at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.
Allyn Walker, a female-to-male transgender academic who referred to pedophiles as “minor-attracted people” with the Prostasia Foundation, an advocacy group that brands itself as a “child sexual abuse prevention group,” insisted that the term “minor attracted people” should be used to replace “pedophile” to spare the feelings of child sex predators.
Walker suggested the term as a replacement because it’s “less stigmatizing than other terms like pedophile,” adding his belief pedophilia is merely another form of sexual attraction and should be treated as such.
“I think we believe societally, that stigma against MAPs serves to protect children because we don’t fully understand the differences between MAPs and sex offenders,” he said in the interview. “Again, we have this confusion between the attraction and a criminal behavior."
“Sexuality can be fluid, and there are many MAPs who have a range of attractions to both children and adults,” he said, adding that the stigma against pedophiles is a “huge problem,” and that he “empathizes” with how society treats child sex offenders.
Walker is the author of a book titled A Long, Dark Shadow: Minor-Attracted People and Their Pursuit of Dignity.
They can find dignity in a prison cell, I’m sure.
A description of the book by the University of California Press, which published it, says that the book disputes the claim that pedophiles “are necessarily also predators and sex offenders.”
Following widespread backlash to his remarks, Walker said after his resignation that the research was intended towards preventing child abuse and was “mischaracterized by some in the media and online, partly on the basis of my trans identity.”
“Multiple threats were made against me and the campus community generally," Walker said, Newsweek reported.
According to the publication, Walker received support from other academics, including 60 professors who signed a letter to the administration of ODU defending Walker’s “important and ground-breaking” scholarship.
“The public backlash reflects a misunderstanding and mischaracterization of Walker's research,” the letter stated.
“We urge you to consider the dire ramifications for academic freedom,” from removing a professor from their post “because the topic of their research is emotionally charged, uncomfortable to discuss, and difficult to understand.”
Walker, who has stepped down, will be on administrative leave until May 2022 when the resignation is permanent.
A petition to reinstate Allyn Walker has reached over 2,500 signatures.