UPDATE 11/16/21: According to a statement just released by Old Dominion University President Brian O. Hemphill, Allyn Walker has been placed on administrative leave.
In a newly-issued email to the ODU community, Hemphill states that "many individuals have shared with me the view that the phrase 'minor attracted people' is inappropriate and should not be utilized as a euphamism for behaviour that is illegal, morally unacceptable, and profoundly damaging. It is important to call pedophilia what it is. As a father, I am troubled by this narrative and its postential consequences to my children and that of future generations."
He goes on to note that his responsibility is the "safety of everyone associated with the campus," and that he has placed Allyn Walker on leave as a result. Hemphill notes that the campus has come under seige by "disruption" and "threats" in recent days due to Walker's interview going viral.
An assistant professor at Old Dominion University has come out in support of "destigmatizing" pedophilia – or, as she calls it "minor attraction."
Allyn Walker, a female-to-male transgender who identifies as non-binary, sat down for an interview with now-infamous activist group Prostasia – a registered 503c which many have called "pro-pedophile" for their stances on legalizing child-like sex dolls and routinely comparing pedophilia to a sexuality.
Walker is an assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, and has recently released a book titled "A Long, Dark Shadow: Minor Attracted People and Their Pursuit of Dignity."
In the interview, Walker states she uses the term "minor attracted people" because of consideration for pedophile's feelings, noting "... I think it’s important to use terminology for groups that members of that group want others to use for them." She goes on to state that "MAP advocacy groups like B4U-Act have advocated for use of the term, and they’ve advocated for it primarily because it’s less stigmatizing than other terms like pedophile."
4W has previously covered the group B4U-Act, which was founded by convicted multi-child rapist Michael Melsheimer for the explicit purposes of normalizing pedophilia and distracting from prevention efforts. In Melsheimer's own words, he wanted to ensure B4U-Act was never associated with the "prevention of offending."
Melsheimer died in 2010, but is considered a respected member of the "boy love community" to this day.
While Walker initially notes in the interview that she is not seeking to answer the question of whether or not pedophilia is a sexual orientation, her later comments suggest she does place it on a similar spectrum.
"... on one hand, just because someone has attractions to children, doesn’t mean that they will never experience attraction to adults as well, or even that their attractions to children will persist for their entire lives." She says, immediately going on to say "Sexuality can be fluid, and there are many MAPs who have a range of attractions to both children and adults."
At another point in the interview, Walker states she "sort of empathize[s]" with pedophiles because of identifying as Queer.
Although I’m not a MAP, myself, I am queer, and so I too, have been through experiences and realized that I have attractions many people wouldn’t understand, and that some people find to be immoral. And those experiences have really shaped who I’ve become. And so I sort of empathize with those experiences, and I wanted to learn more.
Prostasia has come under fire multiple times in the past for their campaigns aimed at fighting child safeguarding laws, as well as for platforming registered child sex offenders to rally against sex offender registries. Most recently, the organization came into the spotlight once again after New Republic writer Noah Berlatsky was signed on to be their communications lead.
Berlatsky had previously raised eyebrows after writing an article titled “Child Sex Worker’s Biggest Threat: The Police” in which he lamented the treatment of “children engaged in survival sex” by police officers.
In 2017, Berlatsky tweeted “pedophiles are essentially a stigmatized group.”
In the Prostasia interview, Walker says she believes stigma against pedophiles is a "huge problem" that will result in it being harder to prevent or identify child sexual abuse.
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