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Virginia professor to step down after backlash to research on ‘minor-attracted’ people

Allyn Walker said the research was intended to prevent child sexual abuse, but a petition signed by thousands claimed the views were "unacceptable."

The Virginia -based educator, whose investigations into “minors” generated intimidation and a request to require their removal, announced its resignation Wednesday, university officials and the researcher said. in a joint statement.

Allyn Walker will retire until she resigns as an assistant professor of criminal law and sociology at Old Dominion University in May.

“We have come to the conclusion that this outcome is the best way forward,” University President Brian Hemphill said in a statement.

He added that he hoped the move would lead to a “closure” as the school continues its efforts “in healing and among the people”.

Walker, who said in a statement Wednesday that the purpose of their investigation was to prevent child sexual abuse, cited confusion over their identity and the misinformation they spread to on the Internet and some advertisements.

The petition, signed by nearly 15,000 people, began after Walker conducted an interview for their book, “A Long, Dark Shadow: Minor-Attracted People and Their Pursuit of Dignity,” published in the University of California press in June.

The publisher described the book, which examines people who are attracted to young children and do not behave according to their beauty, “a survey of the public opinion that people are most attracted to children, often referred to as pedophiles, are traffickers and criminals. ”

Walker said in an interview: “I think we have a tendency to classify people with attractions as bad or corrupt behavior. But when we talk about MAPS not being destructive, they are people with an influence they didn’t feel. they often change But they know they can’t change that influence. And most importantly, the people in my study didn’t follow them. ” (MAPs is an acronym for “child skier.”)

Walker said: “I want it to be very clear that child abuse is not a problem.”

The petition said Western views were “unacceptable” and “had a negative impact on the next generation”.

The student who initiated the petition told the Washington Post in an interview that Walker’s statement was a “slap in the face to anyone who was raised as a child.”

Walker said in a statement Wednesday that many of the threats have been made against them and thanked the school’s public safety department for monitoring the threats.

“I am very grateful for the support of many in the ODU community, as well as others in my research field who have publicly acknowledged the importance of my work in promoting child safety,” he said. Walker said.

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