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Virginia professor says sexual attraction to children isn’t always immoral

A professor at Old Dominion University in Virginia sparked outrage for saying that adult sexual attraction to minors is not immoral. He added that pedophiles should be called “minor-attracted persons,” or MAPs.

The professor, Allyn Walker, earned a PhD at CUNY Graduate Center in 2017 and teaches sociology and criminal justice as a tenure-track assistant professor at the university; according to the university’s website, Walker specializes in mental health, court systems, queer criminology, and ‘resilience to offending.’

Walker, who uses the singular form of they/them for pronouns, authored a controversial book that attempts to destigmatize pedophilia. The book, titled “A Long Dark Shadow: Minor-Attracted People and Their Pursuit of Dignity,” was published by the University of California Press. 

Walker made those comments in a recent online interview with the Prostasia Foundation, which is a child advocacy group that suggests child sex doll usage for pedophiles. Walker said, “A lot of people when they hear the term ‘pedophile,’ they automatically assume that means a sex offender, and that isn’t true. And it leads to a lot of misconceptions about attractions toward minors.”

Walker added, “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.”

Students had planned to hold a protest over Walker’s work and the interview, and an online petition calling for Walker to be fired has garnered nearly 3,000 signatures. Petition supporter Kimberly Price wrote, “Pedophiles do not deserve sympathy or a platform of any sort. They thrive off power structures. Giving them the opportunity to be seen and heard will only put more children in danger. This person does not deserve to teach if this is their ideals.”

One student said that the university is distancing itself from Walker’s ideas, as well as attempting to cover up the outrage over the professor’s comments on campus. “They have been removing and washing chalk written on sidewalks, calling for their firing, as well as the campus rock that is free for students to paint,” wrote the student. “They know they’re in the wrong and are working hard to cover up.” 

ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: TODDSTARNES.COM

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