Tim KorsoAll materialsWrite to the authorThe study suggested that a majority of future graduates who plan to work in social services are ready to report paedophiles automatically, thus allegedly depriving these people of aid that would help prevent them from committing sexual offences. The author argued that they should not be treated as offenders right from the start.Old Dominion University (ODU) in Norfolk, Virginia, has placed one of its professors on administrative leave after a study into “minor-attracted people” caused uproar in the educational facility and online. Numerous students and thousands of netizens demanded ODU to take action, accusing Professor Allyn Walker of “destigmatising” paedophiles.ODU justified the move by claiming that Walker’s work “disrupted” the campus and the university’s “mission of teaching and learning”.
"Reactions to Dr Walker's research and book have led to concerns for their safety and that of the campus", the university said in a statement. "I want to state in the strongest terms possible that child sexual abuse is morally wrong and has no place in our society", ODU President Brian O. Hemphill added.
In addition, the professor’s social media accounts on Twitter and Instagram were deleted. It is unclear whether Walker did it to stop the flood of threats, or if the plaforms’ administrators took action.
Walker, who specialises in “queer criminology” and mental health, defended their work and rejected the accusations against them as a “coordinated effort about attacking the LGBTQ community”, to which the professor belongs, and academic freedom.”The idea that I’m somehow condoning child sexual abuse is absolutely outrageous”, Walker said.The professor, who used to work as an advocate for victims of sexual predators, argued that their work, in fact, aims at keeping children safe from abuse. Walker stressed that many “minor-attracted people” do not want to act on their feelings or harm any child, but end up doing so due to not being able to get help. The latter happens because they are “scared”, the professor claims.”Getting them the help they want and need will protect children”, Walker said.Walker earlier published a book in which they claimed that people often believe that persons, who are attracted to minors, are “necessarily also predators and sex offenders” or colloquially speaking “paedophiles”. But the recent uproar that led to Walker’s suspension from Virginia’s ODU was prompted by their research called “Social Service Students’ Attitudes Toward Minor-Attracted People”.
Around 3,000 Paedophiles Have Been Present in French Catholic Church Since 1950, Report Suggests3 October, 11:30 GMTIn the controversial work, Walker studied the use of the terms “paedophile” and “minor-attracted people”. They learned that a majority of students, would-be social workers, in Utah were ready to report those who identified themselves as “paedophiles” to the police even if it meant violating their professional ethics and breaking client confidentiality, which is usually protected unless a person plans to harm other people and confides in a specialist about it.