Abuse Center Explains Allyn Walker Hiring After Pedophilia Comments Fallout

A sexual abuse facility in Maryland took to Twitter on Friday to explain its hiring of Allyn Walker, a somewhat controversial former professor at Old Dominion University (ODU).

Last year, Walker entered the public eye after publishing a book in June titled "A Long, Dark Shadow: Minor-Attracted People and Their Pursuit of Dignity." The book focused on preventing sexual abuse against children and featured interviews with more than 40 adults who admitted to being sexually attracted to minors and have never committed any sexual abuse against them.

The book referred to pedophiles as "minor-attracted people" or "MAPs," and it quickly gained traction online as many accused Walker of justifying pedophilia.

Allyn Walker Author
Book cover for Long Dark Shadow: Minor-Attracted People and Their Pursuit of Dignity by Allyn Walker www.ucpress.edu/

In contrast, Walker wrote in the book's preface, "I worry that my readers will somehow think that I am downplaying sexual abuse against children or that I am even trying to normalize it. Nothing could be further from the truth."

Still, as the backlash continued against both Walker and the university, the professor announced they were resigning from ODU in May. A statement following their resignation said that their research was intended to work toward preventing child abuse and had been "mischaracterized by some in the media and online, partly on the basis of my trans identity."

The Moore Center for Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse, a part of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, announced Thursday on Twitter, "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 on Friday tweeted again to explain the decision to hire Walker.

"Allyn Walker is 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," the center wrote. "We are delighted to have Allyn Walker join our team."

They continued in a separate tweet: "As a postdoctoral fellow at the Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse, Allyn Walker will support multiple, large-scale, ongoing research projects and help identify new projects."

"Allyn Walker's expertise and qualitative research methodology will enhance and advance the work of the Moore Center. We are excited to have them join our team," the Moore Center concluded.

Some on Twitter commended the hiring decision, with one user tweeting, "Congratulations to Allyn and your organization! People who haven't read the research may be against it, but everyone who follows the research knows that this is the right way to prevent CSA."

Others showed disdain, however. One user wrote, "Is this the same Allyn Walker who wants us to refer to pedophiles as 'minor-attracted persons'? I suppose one way to prevent child abuse would be to just change the title. Poof. No more child abuse."

Walker has given several statements following the backlash of their book, saying, "I want to be clear: child sexual abuse is an inexcusable crime."

The Moore Center gave an additional statement to Newsweek, saying, "Allyn Walker, PhD, joins the Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse as a postdoctoral fellow on May 25, 2022."

"Walker is 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 previously served as an assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice at Old Dominion University," the center added.

Newsweek reached out to Allyn Walker for comment.