BALTIMORE, Md. (WAVY) — A former assistant professor at Old Dominion University, who gained national attention after their research on people who are attracted to children prompted safety concerns on campus, has a new job.
Dr. Allyn Walker has been named a postdoctoral fellow Moore Center for Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The center made the announcement Friday on Twitter.
According to the center’s website, they use “rigorous science” to create “a public health approach to preventing child sexual abuse.”
The center specifically looks at “prevention activities” and “the effects of current sex crime policies.”
On Twitter, the center described Walker as 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.”
Walker’s research on pedophilia and people who have a sexual attraction to children recently gained national attention both in the local community and on the internet. Walker’s research called for a change in the way we refer to “minor-attracted persons” who don’t act on their attractions.
In an interview, Walker distinguishes between people who are attracted to children and act on that attraction and those who are attracted to children and do not act on that attraction.
Walker calls those who don’t act “MAPs” or “minor-attracted persons.” The professor says it doesn’t indicate anything about the morality of the attraction but differentiates these people from those who sexually abuse children, which Walker says is always wrong.
Walker was placed on administrative leave on November 16 and will remain on leave until their contract expires next May.
“My scholarship aims to prevent child sexual abuse,” Dr. Walker said. “That research was mischaracterized by some in the media and online, partly on the basis of my trans identity. As a result, multiple threats were made against me and the campus community generally. I want to thank Old Dominion University for giving me the opportunity to teach and to conduct my research, and the ODU Department of Public Safety for monitoring the threats against me and the community.”
“We have concluded that this outcome is the best way to move forward,” ODU President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D., said at the time. “We hope today’s action helps bring closure for our Monarch family. As we move forward, I encourage all members of the Monarch family to continue our efforts toward healing and civil discourse.”
In their new role, Walker will “support multiple, large-scale, ongoing research projects and help identify new projects.”