The trans Old Dominion professor who was forced to resign after they defended pedophiles by saying society should refer to them as ‘Minor Attracted Persons’ has been hired by Johns Hopkins University.
Allyn Walker, 34, will start work as a postdoctoral fellow for the Baltimore school on May 24 – at a center aimed at preventing child sexual abuse – according to the college.
‘We are excited to share that Allyn Walker, PhD, will be joining the Moore Center as a postdoctoral fellow on May 25,’ the Moore Center for Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse said Thursday.
The center, created in 2012, describes itself on its website as ‘a research center that creates, through rigorous science, a public health approach to preventing child sexual abuse.’
Walker, who uses they/them pronouns, was forced out of Virginia’s Old Dominion University last November, after more than 15,000 outraged onlookers signed a petition to have them removed for the contentious remarks made by the professor that were expanded on in the 2021 book ‘Long Dark Shadow: Minor Attracted People.’
Trans Old Dominion University professor Allyn Walker, 34, who was forced to resign last year after they defended pedophiles by saying society should call them ‘Minor Attracted Persons’ has been hired by a Johns Hopkins center aimed at preventing child sexual abuse
The Baltimore college’s Moore Center for Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse said professor Walker will start work as a postdoctoral fellow on May 24
“Allyn Walker, PhD, joins the Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse as a postdoctoral fellow on May 25, 2022,” a spokesperson noted.
“Walker is a leader in the field of perpetration prevention research, which is essential for developing a comprehensive public health approach to addressing child sexual abuse and effective prevention programs,” the spokesperson added. “Walker previously served as an assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice at Old Dominion University.”
“Walker’s expertise and qualitative research methodology will enhance and advance the Center’s work,” the spokesperson concluded.
In a joint statement with Old Dominion University on Nov. 24, 2021, Walker announced an intention to step down from a professorship in May, following controversy over the “minor-attracted persons” remarks.
“We have concluded that this outcome is the best way to move forward,” ODU President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D., said at the time.
Walker claimed that media and online mischaracterization based in part on animus against the professor’s transgender identity – Walker, reportedly a female-to-male transgender person, identifies as nonbinary – inspired the separation.
“My scholarship aims to prevent child sexual abuse,” Dr. Walker said. “That research was mischaracterized by some in the media and online, partly on the basis of my trans identity. As a result, multiple threats were made against me and the campus community generally. I want to thank Old Dominion University for giving me the opportunity to teach and to conduct my research, and the ODU Department of Public Safety for monitoring the threats against me and the community.”
Walker expressed gratitude for support from the ODU community and the assistance of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).
Yet the controversy traced back to Walker’s comments, rather than the professor’s gender identity.
Walker claimed, in a Nov. 8 interview with the Prostasia Foundation, that people can be attracted to children without acting on that impulse. The professor defended using the term “minor-attracted persons” to describe this phenomenon.
“It’s less stigmatizing than other terms like pedophile,” Walker said. “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 toward minors.”
The interview focused on Walker’s book, “A Long Dark Shadow: Minor-Attracted People and Their Pursuit of Dignity,” which is described as “a study of non-offending, minor-attracted persons.”
In the book, Walker attempts to destigmatize pedophilia and encourages people to refer to them as ‘Minor Attracted People,’ asserting they should not be ostracized for their urges – which Walker says cannot be helped.
Other contentious claims made by the professor – who possesses a doctorate in criminal justice – in the book include suggestions that pedophiles should also be provided with child-like sex dolls to satisfy their urges, and that the sex crime was not ‘immoral.’
While promoting the publication, Walker said: ‘A lot of people when they hear the word pedophile, they automatically assume that means sex offender. That isn’t true. And it leads to a lot of misconceptions.
‘They believe pedophiles don’t “choose” who to be attracted to – so [it] shouldn’t be considered ‘immoral.’
The professor further said pedophiles should be offered ‘help’ and aren’t’ ‘destined’ to act on physical urges.
Walker was also panned for remarks they made in a November interview, where they argued people can be attracted to children without acting on that impulse.
The professor defended using the term ‘minor-attracted persons’ to describe the phenomenon.
‘It’s less stigmatizing than other terms like pedophile,’ Walker said.
‘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 toward minors.’
The remarks quickly inspired outrage among students, who said the professor was using a ‘blanket’ term for pedophilia and was an apologist for criminals.
The university’s own Trans Advisory Board released a statement to call Walker’s remarks ‘reprehensible’, damaging to the victims of pedophilia and not reflective of the views of the trans community at large.
The backlash spurred school brass to place Walker on leave, saying it was for their own safety.
A petition was then drafted by students calling for Walker’s nixing, which – along with fierce protests on the Virginia school’s campus – saw the professor forced out late last year.
In a joint statement with Old Dominion announcing their resignation – which only took effect this month, at the end of the school year – Walker claimed that she was a victim of a smear campaign by the media and online observers because they were transgender.
Walker also asserted that the research in their book that attempted to destigmatize pedophilia had been ‘mischaracterized’, adding claims that threats had been made against them and ‘the campus community generally’.
‘My scholarship aims to prevent child sexual abuse,’ Walker said. ‘That research was mischaracterized by some in the media and online, partly on the basis of my trans identity.
‘As a result, multiple threats were made against me and the campus community generally.’
They went on: ‘I want to thank Old Dominion University for giving me the opportunity to teach and to conduct my research, and the ODU Department of Public Safety for monitoring the threats against me and the community.
‘I am particularly grateful for the outpouring of support from many among the ODU community, as well as others in my research fields who have publicly affirmed the value of my work in advancing child safety.’
Old Dominion President Brian Hemphill added: ‘We have concluded that this outcome is the best way to move forward.
‘We hope today’s action helps bring closure for our Monarch family. As we move forward, I encourage all members of the Monarch family to continue our efforts toward healing and civil discourse.
‘The safety and security of individual Monarchs and our collective campus are of the utmost importance. For ODU, these will always remain top priorities as we pursue our mission in a caring, inclusive, and supportive community, one that respects academic freedom and remains willing to discuss controversial ideas in an atmosphere free of intimidation or violence.’
Following the announcement, Walker said in a 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,’ Walker asserted.
‘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.’
Johns Hopkins’ tweet Thursday announcing Walker’s hiring quickly inspired shockwaves on social media, with many questioning how a center that’s supposedly scientifically designed to combat pedophilia could hire someone with such views.
Michael Salter, a professor at the University of New South Wales in Australia and president-elect of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation, wrote on Twitter of the Moore Center’s announcement: ‘To retain its ethical foundation, child sexual abuse prevention work has to be victim-centred.’
Slater went on: ‘What is victim-centric about the claim that there is nothing wrong with being sexually attracted to children?’
‘Too much prevention work is being driven by researchers and practitioners who work solely with offenders or people sexually attracted to children.
‘What these individuals say in a research encounter or forensic interview does not line up with victim report.’
‘We need to integrate the evidence base to develop a comprehensive approach to CSA prevention – one that recognises and respects CSA victims and survivors as witnesses and a critical source of information.’
Walker received their PhD from New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 2017, according to her old profile on the Old Dominion website. They specialize in mental health, court systems, queer criminology and ‘resilience to offending.’