A Virginia academic whose research is "less attractive" has sparked threats and a request for their removal was announced on Wednesday, university officials and the academic said in a joint statement.
Allyn Walker will remain on leave until they step down as assistant professor of criminal justice and social work at Old Dominion University in May.
"We conclude that this result is the best way forward," University President Brian Hemphill said in a statement.
He added that he hoped the move would help "close" as the school continued its "healing and public speaking efforts."
Walker, in a statement Wednesday that their research was aimed at preventing child sexual abuse, said their retreat was due to their self-awareness and lies promoted online and in certain media.
The petition, signed by nearly 15,000 people, began after Walker interviewed for their book, "A Long, Dark Shadow: Minor-Attracted People and Their Pursuit of Dignity," published by the University of California Press in June.
The publisher described the book, which surveys child pornography and behavior, as "a pervasive predictor of sexual predators - often called 'pedophiles' - poachers and sexual predators."
Walker said in an interview: "I think we have a tendency to want to classify people who have these attractions as bad or morally corrupt. But when we talk about MAPS sinless, these are attractive people who didn't." and they rarely do anything to change. But they find that they are unable to change those attractions. And most importantly, the people in my study did not act on it. "(MAP is short for" less attractive people. ")
Walker added: "I want to make it very clear that child sexual abuse is completely wrong."
The petition states that Western views are “unacceptable” and will have negative consequences for the next generation.
In an interview with The Washington Post, a student who started the application said Walker's language "is basically a slap in the face to anyone who has been trained as a child."
Walker in a statement Wednesday said there were many threats made against them and thanked the Department of Community Safety at the school for monitoring the threats.
"I am very grateful for the support of many among the ODU community, as well as others in my field of research who have publicly confirmed the importance of my work in improving child safety," Walker said.