Jun 27, 2008

Pedophilia vs. Pederasty

Nearly any discussion of the “homosexual lifestyle” inevitably extends to include the practice of pederasty and the psychological disorder of pedophilia. These two terms are often confused one for the other, and the differences that separate them are subtle. Only pederasty, however, is exclusive to homosexuality.

Pederasty, and pederast (one who engages in pederasty), ultimately entered the English language from the Greek word paiderastes, a compound word meaning boy/child-lover. Pedophilia, and pedophile (one who engages in pedophilia), also comes from Greek, in this case paidophilos, meaning child-enthusiast/tendency. As the paide/o portion of word is identical in meaning, the difference in these two terms, etymologically, occurs in their endings. Both erastes and philos are generally translated as “love,” though the subtlety of ancient Greek does not make them synonyms. Erastes is erotic love. Philos, originally, had been an expression of beloved-ness, and has come to English in three ways: enthusiast, tendency, and unnatural attraction. This last interpretation is new, though it is the one which defines the modern pedophilia.

A pedophile has an unnatural attraction to children. Pedophiles can be homosexual pedophiles or heterosexual pedophiles - the word is not restrictive, and the paido- root here is used to mean young child. Pedophilia is a psychological condition in which an adult is sexually aroused by young children, either to the exclusion of or including adult-oriented sexual desire. Persons suffering from this condition view children as sex objects, pursuing them for the purpose of their own gratification.

Pederasty, on the other hand, has its root in erotic love. As a modern practice, its supporters claim it to be descendant of an ancient Greek tradition involving older men taking on adolescent youths as beloveds (the paide- root meaning boy in this case). In this custom, the older man (lover) must declare his intentions to the beloved, buy the beloved gifts, and wait until the beloved had agreed to the relationship before ritually “abducting” him. After this has occurred, the lover is responsible for the beloved’s continued learning, including athletics, philosophy, and sexual education. The beloved is only bound by loyalty, and may choose to end the relationship at any time. Often, when the boy attains full adulthood under his lover’s tutelage, he becomes a man by leaving his lover and later may take on a beloved of his own; in some cases, though, lover and beloved may remain loyal to each other for life.

The factualness of this aside, the concepts of modern pederasty are shown here: both the older man and the younger man must choose each other; furthermore, the younger man must be (at least) in the transitional state of adolescence - he must be sexually aware. While not a meeting of equals, a pederastic relationship is centered on the needs of the younger man - the older man gains sexual gratification, and the younger man’s educational needs are satisfied. In modern America, this relationship is not limited to adult males and adolescent boys, but can include any homosexual male couple at least fifteen years apart where the elder man dotes on the younger; sometimes these older men are called “sugar daddies” (which also exist in the “heterosexual lifestyle” as well).

Pederasts are somewhat more moral than pedophiles in comparison. A pederast can be satisfied by doting on a child until he comes of age before entering into a sexual relationship. The pedophile, on the other hand, is not satisfied by this. A pederast can be a pedophile, and if this is so should be lock away with the rest; but a pederast is not bound to this. Granted, any adult catering to the whim of an adolescent in the hope of gaining a later sexual relationship rides a fine line between being a friend and being a sexual predator; a true pederast will respect the will of his beloved, even if the younger man abandons him after turning 18/21.

To take anyone, for any reason, sexually against one’s will is always rape.

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