Old Dominion University professor Allyn Walker — who was put on leave after claiming that sexual attraction to children is not always immoral, and that he wants to destigmatize pedophiles by referring to them as “minor-attracted persons” (MAPs), instead — has resigned.

In a joint statement from Old Dominion University and Walker on Wednesday, the professor announced that he will step down from his position as assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice when his contract expires in May 2022. Walker will remain on leave until that time.

“We have concluded that this outcome is the best way to move forward,” ODU President Brian O. Hemphill said. “We hope today’s action helps bring closure for our Monarch family. As we move forward, I encourage all members of the Monarch family to continue our efforts toward healing and civil discourse.”

In the joint statement, Walker chimed in by insisting that his “scholarship aims to prevent child sexual abuse,” and claimed that his research was “mischaracterized by some in the media and online,” in part, due to him being transgender.

“That research was mischaracterized by some in the media and online, partly on the basis of my trans identity,” Walker proclaimed. “As a result, multiple threats were made against me and the campus community generally.”

“I want to thank Old Dominion University for giving me the opportunity to teach and to conduct my research, and the ODU Department of Public Safety for monitoring the threats against me and the community,” the professor added.

Walker continued:

I am particularly grateful for the outpouring of support from many among the ODU community, as well as others in my research fields who have publicly affirmed the value of my work in advancing child safety. My Department Chair, Mona Danner, my colleagues, and my students all have been especially supportive. And, finally, I am thankful for the assistance of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) during this time.

Hemphill added that “The safety and security of individual Monarchs and our collective campus are of the utmost importance.”

“For ODU, these will always remain top priorities as we pursue our mission in a caring, inclusive, and supportive community, one that respects academic freedom and remains willing to discuss controversial ideas in an atmosphere free of intimidation or violence,” Hemphill said.

Walker — who wrote a book titled A Long Dark Shadow: Minor-Attracted People and Their Pursuit of Dignity — had initially been put on leave after a video interview of the professor defending pedophiles went viral on social media.

In the video, Walker explained that he uses the term “Minor-Attracted Person” or “MAP” when referring to pedophiles in the title and throughout his book, “because I think it’s important to use terminology for groups that members of that group want others to use for them.”

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Professors from around the country reacted by calling on Old Dominion to reinstate Walker.

The professors claimed that backlash over Walker was “based on nothing more than misinformation and stigma, all fueled by some individuals’ desire to virtue-signal their hatred of pedophilia rather than support evidence-backed child protection initiatives and research.”

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.