Controversial Professor Finds New Job At Large University

Allyn Walker, the controversial professor recently outed from his job for his viewpoints on pedophilia, was rehired at another university.

By Erika Hanson | Published

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Allyn Walker

A professor whose dedication to research on pedophilia has created a lot of controversy over their hiring at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. The educator in question, Allyn Walker, previously stirred the pot earlier this year, when they made rousing comments about pedophiles, which led to their demise at the previous higher education institution where they were employed.  Now that the historic Maryland university has picked them up, their status as a researcher and educator is once again questioned by many. 

Allyn Walker will again work on research concerning pedophilia, or the psychosexual disorder depicted by adults who are attracted to prepubescent children, including those who act on those feelings and illegally abuse minors. John Hopkin’s Moore Center announced late last week that the transgender professor who identifies as “they” or “them” will be joining the center as a postdoctoral fellow, according to reports from The Virginian-Pilot. They will be working directly with the department’s Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse.

But despite their role and titles, many critics are outraged at the university’s decision to hire Allyn Walker. Walker was previously an assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice at the Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. Last June, they published a book titled A Long,  Dark Shadow: Minor-Attracted People and Their Pursuit of Dignity. The book dives deep into the widespread assumption that all people that are attracted to minors are therefore sex offenders. Walker argues that not all people who have this pedophiliac disorder will act on those feelings, and Walker has often touted the book as a means to better understand the issue concerning pedophilia, and possibly prevent more sex offenses from happening at the root of the issue.

The Associated Press reports that a sweeping outcry against Walker and his studies was criticized by thousands following an interview in which they used the term “minor-attracted person” instead of “pedophile”. They allegedly faced a plethora of violent threats and petitions calling for their removal from the university last fall. After the fallout, Allyn Walker stepped down from their role at the college.

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 has plenty of expertise in the field of pedophilia. He agrees with the critics opposed to Allyn Walker’s hiring within John Hopkins. He, like many others, believes this type of research should remain victim-centered, instead of focusing on understanding why adults commit these heinous acts. To clarify the need to focus on the victims, Salter pointed out that the stories given by such perpetrators fail to align with the victim’s reports of the sexual abuse. 

Despite the opposer’s beliefs, John Hopkins stands with Allyn Walker and his work. In a series of Tweets welcoming them to the university, they announced a slew of new projects aimed at providing a thorough “public health approach” to addressing and understanding sexual abuse through prevention studies. The Associated Press likewise reported that the department’s website depicts a hope to alter the way people think about sexual abuse, changing the conversations from “inevitable to preventable.”

Whether or not Allyn Walker’s choice of words will further the growing issue of sexual abuse against children, or help to counteract that is debatable. But regardless, there is no denying that cases regarding pedophiles being charged with acts against minors are only a growing issue in America. According to the National Sex Offenders Registry, pedophiles committing crimes against minors can commit around 117 sexual crimes in their lifetime, and it’s a major concern to many.