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Allyn Walker

Old Dominion University

Dr. Allyn Walker is an openly transgender (preferred pronouns they/them) Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. Dr. Walker has taught at the University since 2019. In June of 2021, Dr. Walker wrote a book titled, A Long, Dark Shadow: Minor-Attracted People and Their Pursuit of Dignity.

The book, which Dr. Walker describes as interview-based research, discusses non-offending pedophiles (or Minor-Attracted Persons, as Dr. Walker calls them). According to Dr. Walker, the book highlights people who are attracted to minors who don’t don’t commit violent crimes in order to challenge the “widespread assumption that those who are ‘preferentially attracted to minors’ are always predators and sex offenders.” The book details how those who don’t commit violent crimes against children navigate their feelings and attraction to minors.

On November 11, 2021 a series of videos on Twitter of Dr. Walker came to light. In these videos, Dr. Walker tries to normalize the term “Minor-Attracted Person” (MAP) and destigmatize pedophilia. In the video, Dr. Walker claims that it is important to call a group by a name in which they want to be called. Dr. Walker states that groups are advocating for MAP as their name because it’s less stigmatized than the term pedophile, and they are doing nothing wrong if they aren’t committing violent crimes against children. Dr. Walker goes on to say that who a person is attracted to (in this case children) isn’t indicative of the morality of that person or that attraction. The video series can be viewed below:

After the video received a significant amount of backlash, Old Dominion University released a statement. In the statement the University asserted that, as an academic community, it’s vital to be “willing to consider scientific and other empirical data that may involve controversial issues and perspectives.” They went on to claim that they don’t endorse or promote any crimes against children or any form of criminal activity. It does not appear any action will be taken by the University against Dr. Walker.


Parents and Students may contact Old Dominion University at (757) 683-3000.

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