After defending pedophilia, Walker blames resignation on transgender discrimination
Old Dominion Professor Allyn Walker resigns following protest to 'Minor Attracted People' comments.
Walker blamed the backlash on trans identity in a Nov. 24 statement.
Allyn Walker resigned from Old Dominion University following backlash after defending pedophilia, blaming the outcome on transgender discrimination.
In a joint statement with the university published Nov. 24, Walker addressed the criticism from the media and speculated that it may be because of Walker's transgender ideology.
“That research was mischaracterized by some in the media and online, partly because of my trans identity,” Walker wrote. “As a result, multiple threats were made against me and the campus community generally.”
As reported by Campus Reform, the criticism of Walker's research peaked following an interview conducted with Prostasia Foundation about the publication of Walker’s book, A Long, Dark Shadow.
In the book, which is subtitled “Minor-Attracted People and Their Pursuit of Dignity,” Walker emphasizes that the term pedophile is “stigmatizing” to the group and should be replaced with the term “Minor-Attracted People.”
“MAP advocacy groups like B4UAct have advocated for use of the term, and they’ve advocated for it primarily because 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 led to a flood of negative press denouncing Dr. Walker’s research, and the immediate action of the study body to express their concerns.
Campus Reform conducted a Q&A with one of the concerned students who reaffirmed that students were “appalled” by the situation.
Old Dominion took action after the Prostasia interview by placing Walker on administrative leave.
Students then responded by organizing an on-campus protest, as reported by Mace and Crown, decorating campus with chalked writings and signs calling for further, more decisive action be taken.
“Keep Pedos Off ODU,” “Pedophilia Is Not A Sexuality,” and “Call Them Pedophiles” were among messaging that was written over a wall on campus. Signs reading “Maps = Pedophiles,” “Fire Dr. Walker,” and “Protect Minors” were held at the rally, as well.
Per the joint statement, Walker’s resignation will take effect at the end of the scholar’s contract in May 2022. Walker will remain on administrative leave until that date.
"We have concluded that this outcome is the best way to move forward," ODU President Brian Hemphill said in the statement. "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."
Hemphill then stated that the safety of the campus is of the “utmost importance,” and that the university will continue to pursue their mission in a community that “respects academic freedom and remains willing to discuss controversial ideas in an atmosphere free of intimidation or violence."
Campus Reform has reached out to Walker for comment, and was directed by ODU to the published statement. The article will be updated accordingly.