ODU professor gains national attention for research on pedophilia; Child advocate offers perspective

Source: wavy.com 11/5/21

An assistant professor at Old Dominion University is making waves in the community by calling for change in the way we refer to those who are sexually attracted to children.

The teacher’s goal is to help people with an attraction to children seek the help that they need and then identify ways to help children. By understanding more about the group of people, the professor says we can better protect children.

The controversy began last week. Dr. Allyn Walker, who is an assistant professor in the Sociology and Criminal Justice Department at ODU, did an interview with a group that works to end child sexual abuse.

In the interview, Walker distinguishes between people who are attracted to children and act on that attraction, and those who are attracted to children and do not act on that attraction.

Walker calls those who don’t act “MAPs” or “minor-attracted persons.” The professor says it doesn’t indicate anything about the morality of the attraction, but differentiates these people from those who sexually abuse children, which Walker says is always wrong.

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Words do matter. The only problem I have with the term “Minor Attracted Persons” (MAP) is that the term “minor” is a legal and not a biological term. Whereas the definition of pedophilia is biologically based, i.e. involving prepubescent children.

There already are clinical terms for those attracted to early post-pubescent teens and another for those attracted to older teens. These have specific diagnostic criteria and are not necessarily considered pathological or having the same implications as pedophilia. Using the blanket legal term “minor” imposes a law enforcement distortion to terms that define psychological characteristics.

Problems with these terms arise when they leak from their original clinical context into the common vernacular. They very quickly lose their definitive meaning and become little more than a “dog whistle.” Jeffrey Epstein may have many horrible things, but he was never diagnosed with nor accused of pedophilia. Yet he is constantly referred to as such. Using the term MAP will further blur the distinction between terms, and make sorting out this tortured subject of sex and sex crimes all the more difficult.


I respect what Dr. Walker is trying to accomplish however their mistake was doing an interview with a group that works to end child sexual abuse. You simply can’t expect fanatics to be reasonable when you challenge their core beliefs, especially when maintaining the moral panic is in their groups financial interests to do so…. i.e. scared people donate money.

The things Dr. Walker said were not new ideas, I suspect that the term Minor Attracted Person may have come from Michael Melsheimer co-founder of B4U-ACT . Certainly, B4U-ACT popularized the expression which was later picked up by others like Dr.Cantor, Virtuous Pedophiles etc….

This kind of push-back to research is not uncommon Rind et al. (1998) was widely condemned because it challenged established beliefs. Someday people may be able to have a rational discussion of this topic without having an hysterical emotional response but that day is clearly not today.

When Kyle Jenner turned 17 the Yahoo site featured pictures of her in swimsuits, underwear, and lingerie almost daily for the entire year. They didn’t do it because nobody was clicking on the link. They did it becasue throngs of people were clicking on the links. So do all those people need to be rounded up and “receive the help they need?” Or is it possible that Madison Avenue knows that a 17 year old is in the prime of their physical life and is quite attractive to the eye? The confusion here is that being attracted to someone is not a crime,nor is it harmful. The problem is that when a person doesn’t have the self control to keep from acting on that attraction.

There is nothing wrong with enjoying a good Dean Koonz novel or a Rambo movie. They are some of the most popular entertainment around. But if I make a choice to act out the scenes then it becomes a problem. These Justice warriors are moving into the area of thought police and trying to decide which thoughts are acceptable and which are illegal.

I don’t give a care.. You got people who are attracted too all kinds of things in this world. 99 % of the time it is money based. Me myself i am attracted too old tractors. I love to fix them up. But then you people who love other things. Like bird watching or football. Lots of people like watching little girl’s in beauty pageants. I would love too ask some mother why she put her daughter in front of so many pevs.. I am guessing it for the money. Women and children should be heard but not seen
But some how that old saying got changed….

Wasn’t there an article done that said men find women attractive in her late teens and early twenties? Just because you find something attractive doesn’t mean you lose control. Heck I remember being a senior in high school and checking out the law class, but I was always like hot damn and moved on. I remember many upper class dating freshman and some in college dated high schoolers. Not everyone on the registry is a pedo, yet the average joe doesn’t know the definition of words just repeats the stupidest things.