An American professor has agreed to resign following a massive public backlash to their suggestion that paedophiles might be renamed to reduce the stigma attached to that description.
Old Dominion University announced that Allyn Walker, 34, will be stepping down as an assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice.
Earlier this month Walker sparked outrage by arguing that paedophiles should be referred to as "minor-attracted persons".
Walker, who is transgender and uses they/them pronouns, made the comment earlier this month in an interview with a child protection organisation.
They argued the term "minor-attracted persons" was more suitable than "paedophiles" because it did not stigmatise those who did not act on their desires.
That argument did not find favour with the public however and an online petition called for their removal quickly amassed thousands of signatures.
In a statement, Walker said that their research was aimed at better understanding those who offended against children and preventing child sex abuse.
"That research was mischaracterised by some in the media and online, partly on the basis of my trans identity," Walker said. "As a result, multiple threats were made against me and the campus community generally."
Brian O Hemphill, the president of Old Dominion, said that Walker stepping down was the "best way to move forward".
Walker's book, A Long Dark Shadow: Minor-Attracted People and Their Pursuit of Dignity, acknowledges that the term "minor-attracted persons" is problematic as it may suggest to some that such an attraction was acceptable.
However, they argued that a person's sexual desires does not define their morality.
"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," Walker said.
"In other words, it's not who we're attracted to that's either OK or not OK. It's our behaviours in responding to that attraction that are either OK or not OK," Walker added, clarifying that child sex abuse is "never, ever OK".