An academic who resigned from a Virginia university after saying it wasn’t necessarily immoral for adults to be sexually attracted to kids has been hired by a Johns Hopkins University center aimed at preventing child sexual abuse.
“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 in Baltimore tweeted Thursday.
The hire comes about six months after Old Dominion University announced that the 34-year-old would be stepping down as an assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice.
Walker was placed on administrative leave Nov. 16 after a firestorm erupted over the educator’s controversial argument that pedophiles should be referred to as “minor-attracted persons.”
Walker insisted that it was important to use the term “minor-attracted persons” instead of “pedophile” because it’s less stigmatizing.
“My scholarship aims to prevent child sexual abuse,” Walker, who is transgender, said in a statement at the time.
“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,” he wrote.
“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,” Walker added.
Johns Hopkins’ Moore Center’s decision to hire Walker was slammed by critics, including Michael Salter, a professor at the University of New South Wales in Australia and president-elect of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation, Fox News reported.
“To retain its ethical foundation, child sexual abuse prevention work has to be victim-centred. What is victim-centric about the claim that there is nothing wrong with being sexually attracted to children?” Salter said in a tweet.
“Too much prevention work is being driven by researchers and practitioners who work solely with offenders or people sexually attracted to children. What these individuals say in a research encounter or forensic interview does not line up with victim report,” he added.
Luke Malone, a journalist who has written for The Washington Post, called Walker’s hire “an incredible end to a troubling chapter.”
Walker, who has written a book titled “A Long Dark Shadow: Minor-Attracted People and Their Pursuit of Dignity”, had earlier acknowledged that the use of the term “minor-attracted persons” suggests to some that it’s OK to be attracted to children.
Old Dominion had faced calls to fire Walker after the educator made the comment while discussing their research in an interview with the Prostasia Foundation, a San Francisco-based child-protection organization.
Neither Johns Hopkins University nor the Moore Center immediately responded to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.