Old Dominion University (ODU) released a statement Saturday clarifying its position on pedophilia, after one of its professors appeared to downplay child sex abuse in an interview with a non-profit that has been accused of promoting pedophilia.
“Following recent social media activity and direct outreach to the institution, it is important to share that Old Dominion, as a caring and inclusive community, does not endorse or promote crimes against children or any form of criminal activity,” the school said in a statement.
Assistant Professor of Sociology and Criminology Allyn Walker, a transgender female, said he wanted to “destigmatize” pedophilia.
“… I think it’s important to use terminology for groups that members of that group want others to use for them,” he said, and 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.”
MAP stands for “minor attracted person,” and the MAP movement is often viewed as a movement whose pretext is to make pedophilia a sexuality on the LGBT spectrum.
The controversy stemmed from Walker’s interview with a group called Protasia, which advocates for legalizing child sex dolls.
“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,” Walker said in the interview. “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.”
ODU, despite stating its opposition to child sex abuse, appeared to defend Walker anyway.
“An academic community plays a valuable role in the quest for knowledge. A vital part of this is being willing to consider scientific and other empirical data that may involve controversial issues and perspectives,” it said.
It included in its statement a clarification on the issue from Walker, too.
“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 said. “My work is informed by my past experience and advocacy as a social worker counseling victims. 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.”
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