Sure and we know why this word, paedophile, is being bandied about. Because having sex with children is something that we all agree is wrong. So, therefore, if there’s some sexuality that we think is not on we brand it paedophilia so that all agree with us.
It’s a rhetorical trick no more noxious than any other such but it is a rhetorical trick.
My own opinion of Jeffrey Epstein is that he’s a scumbag who should be locked up. But he’s also not a paedophile.[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Too many men think teenage girls are fair game. That gave Jeffrey Epstein cover
Epstein is an extreme example of how heterosexual pedophilia is both normalized and often cast as aspirational: the reward for male success[/perfectpullquote]
Well no, the behaviour he is accused of isn’t in fact that pedo- nor paedophilia.[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]The sexual abuse of teenage girls and young women is part of this vision; the pleasure that they afford the rich man is considered largely interchangeable with that that he gets from a rare steak or a nice cigar. But Epstein’s victims were not mere party props; they were not cocktails or expensive clothes. They were little girls. “I had braces on,” Epstein victim Courtney Wild told ABC news after his arrest. When she says that he abused her, she was 14.[/perfectpullquote]
There are parts of the world where 14 is the age of consent. I’m in one of them right now. No, it’s a European country and no, there isn’t some mass outbreak of whatever going on.
I also agree that 14 is too young to be the object of desire of older men. But it’s still not paedophilia:[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Pedophilia (alternatively spelt paedophilia) is a psychiatric disorder in which an adult or older adolescent experiences a primary or exclusive sexual attraction to prepubescent children. Although girls typically begin the process of puberty at age 10 or 11, and boys at age 11 or 12, criteria for pedophilia extend the cut-off point for prepubescence to age 13.[/perfectpullquote]
See? This is ephebophilia:[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Ephebophilia is the primary sexual interest in mid-to-late adolescents, generally ages 15 to 19. The term was originally used in the late 19th to mid 20th century. It is one of a number of sexual preferences across age groups subsumed under the technical term chronophilia. Ephebophilia strictly denotes the preference for mid-to-late adolescent sexual partners, not the mere presence of some level of sexual attraction.[/perfectpullquote]
Agreed, it’s still illegal in much of the US. And the descriptions of behaviour – and coercion alleged – lead me to welcoming the idea of throwing away the key. But there is an important difference here. Paedophilia is odd. Weird. Any sexuality that doesn’t increase fecundity is weird in that evolutionary sense. Ephebophilia isn’t odd in that sense. Might be culturally odd, disapproved of, illegal, but it’s not weird.
Linguistic distinctions aren’t just mere pendantry.
Juliet is 14 when she meets Romeo apparently……