Johns Hopkins University announced that it will welcome a professor who previously resigned from a teaching position after defending sexual attraction to children.
“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 tweeted on Thursday.
Walker, who was formerly employed as an assistant professor by Old Dominion University, came under fire after publishing a book that defended pedophilia and attempted to de-stigmatize offenders by labeling them “minor-attracted people.”
Moore Center Communications and Marketing Manager Maria Blackburn told Campus Reform that Walker will “support multiple, large-scale, ongoing research projects and help identify new projects.”
“Walker’s expertise and qualitative research methodology will enhance and advance the Center’s work,” Blackburn added.
Blackburn described as a “leader in the field of perpetration prevention research” and her former role at ODU was noted. However, the reason for her resignation was omited.
Pressure from critics and students on campus resulted in Walker being placed on administrative leave. She later resigned but accused the criticism of her research as being transphobic.
“That research was mischaracterized by some in the media and online, partly because of my trans identity,” Walker wrote in a joint statement with ODU after her departure.
Walker’s book “A Long, Dark Shadow: Minor-Attracted People and Their Pursuit of Dignity” was published in June and argues that adults who are sexually attracted to children are not necessarily predators. Rather, the book challenges the notion by providing research into the lives of “minor-attracted persons.”
“Navigating guilt, shame, and fear, this universally maligned group demonstrate remarkable resilience and commitment to living without offending and to supporting and educating others,” the book description states.
According to Walker, there is “no morality or immorality attached to attraction” because attraction is beyond the offender’s control.
“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 in an interview with Protasia in November. “And it leads to a lot of misconceptions about attractions toward minors.”
After the news shattered about Walker’s research, students at Old Dominion University immediately began calling for his termination. ODU College Republican President Andrew Lambakis told Campus Reform last semester that opposition to Walker was a unifying effort.
“You can see that he’s legitimizing pedophilia by saying that we should use the term minor attracted persons. We should be very careful in re-wording, like, the English language, if you would, because we don’t want to make it seem like it’s okay to be attracted to minors,” he said. “That’s what a lot of people think it implies. I think so. We ought to be using the term pedophile.”
“As a leading international authority on public health, the School is dedicated to protecting health and saving lives,” the Moore center website states. “The School works to keep millions around the world safe from violence, illness and injury by pioneering new research, deploying its knowledge and expertise in the field, and educating tomorrow’s scientists and practitioners in the global defense of human life.”
Campus Reform contacted John Hopkins University for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.