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The Old Dominion University professor, who drew criticism after comments that attempted to generalize the phrase “moderately-attractive”, stepped down from his position as assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice at the school.

School President Brian O’Hemphill said in a statement Wednesday that the university’s top priority is to foster a “caring, inclusive and supportive community” that respects academic freedom and will not shy away from controversial topics.


Earlier this month, Aileen Walker’s research caught the attention of some media outlets — and the professor received threats that law enforcement told administrators to take seriously, university officials said.

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An online petition demanding Walker’s removal garnered nearly 15,000 signatures. It referred to Walker’s use of the term “moderately attracted person” and stated “(w)e ​​wants to be clear that this is pedophilia and should not be considered a sexual preference.”

walker Said in a November 8 interview So that people can be attracted towards children without acting.

“It’s less stigmatizing than other words like pedophile,” Walker said in an interview with the Prosthesia Foundation. “Many people when they hear the word pedophile automatically assume it means a sex offender. And that’s not true. And that creates a lot of misconceptions about attraction to minors.”

Anti-pedophilia graffiti is scattered in chalk on the campus of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA, on Wednesday, November 24, 2021.  (AP Photo/Ben Finlay)

Walker said Statement that their scholarship “aims to prevent child sexual abuse.”

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“That research was portrayed unfairly by some in the media and online, partly on the basis of my trans identity. As a result, many threats were made against me and the campus community in general. For giving me the opportunity I would like to thank Old Dominion University for my research on monitoring threats against me and the community, and for teaching and conducting the ODU Department of Public Safety,” Walker said in the statement.

Granthshala News Emma Colton and