A sociology and criminal justice professor at a prestigious Virginia university has been placed on administrative leave scrutiny for public statements, claiming that it is not immoral for adults to be sexually attracted to children.
The statement, made by Old Dominion University professor Allyn Walker during a November 8 interview with a child protection group known as the Prostasia Foundation, sparked outrage and calls for dismissal by the public.
Walker has written a book, titled “A Long Dark Shadow: Minor-Attracted People and Their Pursuit of Dignity.”
“A lot of people when they hear the term ‘pedophile,’ they automatically assume that it means a sex offender, and that isn’t true,” Walker said during the Prostasia Foundation interview. “And it leads to a lot of misconceptions about attractions towards minors.”
True to modern takes on sociology, Walker appeared to make the matter of morality a non-issue.
“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,” Walker said. “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.”
According to the New York Post, Walker suggested it is okay to be attracted to children.
“We have a tendency to want to categorize people with these attractions as evil or morally corrupt,” Walker continued. “But when we’re talking about non-offending MAPs, these are people who have an attraction they didn’t ask for.”
Walker, who previously worked as a social worker counseling victims of sexual violence, claimed his experience in the field drew him to his conclusions.
In response to a petition that at one point was gaining 2-5 signatures per second, ODU put walker on administrative leave.
“I want to state in the strongest terms possible that child sexual abuse is morally wrong and has no place in our society,” said ODU President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D. “This is a challenging time for our University, but I am confident that we will come together and move forward as a Monarch family.”
“The actions we are taking today are motivated by our obligation to maintain a safe and conducive learning environment for our students, faculty, and staff.”
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