A university professor has sparked outrage after claiming it is not immoral for adults to be sexually attracted to children and saying pedophiles should be called ‘minor-attracted persons’.
Allyn Walker, who teaches sociology and criminal justice 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 online petition calling for Walker to be fired has attracted nearly 3,000 signatures with current students at the college branding their remarks ‘gross’ and ‘weird’.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz also waded into the debate, saying: ‘Holy c***. What the hell is wrong with ODU?’
But Old Dominion has so far rejected the clamor to remove the professor, only distancing itself from the comments and saying it ‘does not endorse or promote crimes against children’.
Walker, who is transgender and uses the pronouns they/them, had said in an online interview with the Prostasia Foundation, a child protection organization: ‘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 towards minors.
Allyn 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)
‘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.
‘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.’
Walker clarified that child sex abuse is ‘never, ever OK’ but said sexual urges towards minors are not necessarily immoral, as long as they are not acted upon.
Walker has penned a book attempting to destigmatize pedophilia titled A Long Dark Shadow: Minor-Attracted People and Their Pursuit of Dignity
They said the term ‘minor-attracted persons’ or MAPs 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.’
Walker’s comments were met with a huge backlash after being shared on social media.
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.’
Walker clarified that child sex abuse is ‘never, ever OK’ but said sexual urges towards 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 professor said they had counselled victims of sexual violence which had helped form their views.
But college officials distanced themselves from the comments.
They said: ‘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.’