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Norfolk, VA (WPHL)– An Old Dominion University has put professor, Dr. Allyn Walker, on leave after his controversial interview defending people attracted to children.

Walker, who is transgender and teaches sociology at ODU in Virginia, did an interview which was publish by Prostasia Foundation, stating that it is “never OK to abuse a child,” but argued that there is no morality attached to attraction towards children as long as it isn’t acted on.

“A lot of people when they hear the term “pedophile,“ they automatically assume that it means a sex offender, and that isn’t true and it leads to a lot of misconceptions about attractions toward minors, said Walker.”

Walker went on to say, “From my perspective, there is no morality or immorality attached to attraction to anyone because no one can control who they’re attracted to at all, In other words, it’s not who we’re attracted to that’s either ok or not ok. It’s our behaviors in responding to that attraction that are either ok or not ok.”

The interview sparked a social media backlash and received national attention.

Students at ODU went to protest for Walker to be fired immediately. Some called it “weird” and “gross”, according to a online petition to remove Walker.

On November 16th, 2021, ODU released a statement regarding the controversial interview with Walker. ODU has placed Walker on administrative leave, effective immediately.

Walker’s book A Long Dark Shadow: Minor-Attracted People and Their Pursuit of Dignity, published in June, gives voice to “non-offending MAPs” and consists primarily of interviews with self-identified pedophiles and vignettes from their lives, according to the book’s description online.