A former university professor who calls for less social stigma on pedophilia is set to return to academia, landing a new job at a research center dedicated to preventing child sexual abuse.
The Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sex Abuse at Johns Hopkins University, Maryland, announced Thursday that Allyn Walker will join as a postdoctoral fellow, starting on May 25.
“We are excited to share that Allyn Walker, PhD, will be joining the Moore Center as a postdoctoral fellow on May 25,” said the Moore Center, which describes itself as working to “change the way the world thinks about child sexual abuse, from inevitable to preventable.”
Walker, who identifies as nonbinary and uses pronouns they/them, previously worked as an assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice at Old Dominion University, Virginia. He has advocated to lessen the social stigma against pedophilia, and that pedophiles be instead referred to with the euphemistic term “minor attracted persons,” or MAPs.
In June 2021, Walker published a book that “challenges widespread assumptions” about those he called “non-offending MAPs.” He discussed the book months later in an interview, during which he argued that it wasn’t necessarily immoral for adults to be sexually attracted to children.
“I want to be extremely clear that child sexual abuse is never ever okay. But having an attraction to minors as long as it isn’t acted on, doesn’t mean that the person who has those attractions is doing something wrong,” he said in the November 2021 interview with the Prostasia Foundation, a San Francisco-based child protection organization.
“I think we have a tendency to want to categorize people with these attractions as evil or morally corrupt. But when we’re talking about non-offending MAPS, these are people who have an attraction that they didn’t ask for,” he told Prostasia.
The interview triggered a social media outrage, with many calling on Old Dominion to fire Walker. After initially backing Walker in the controversy, the university placed him on leave until he agreed to resign.
In the wake of a backlash similar to that faced by Old Dominion, Moore Center tried to explain the decision to hire Walker.
“Allyn Walker is a leader in the field of perpetration prevention research, which is essential for developing a comprehensive public health approach to addressing child sexual abuse and effective prevention programs,” the center wrote Friday on Twitter. “We are delighted to have Allyn Walker join our team.”
The center wrote in a separate post that Walker will “support multiple, large-scale, ongoing research projects and help identify new projects.”
“Allyn Walker’s expertise and qualitative research methodology will enhance and advance the work of the Moore Center. We are excited to have them join our team,” the center concluded.
The Epoch Times reached out to Johns Hopkins for comments and was directed to the statement released by the Moore Center.