Chapter 3 - Footnote 11

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The term 'paedophilia erotica' is almost invariably shortened in medical usage to plain 'paedophilia'. The absence of the 'erotica' part leaves a word which might be thought to suggest a non-sexual fondness for children. 

The word has in fact been used in this sense, though rarely. Rosemary Gordon (in Kraemer et al., The Forbidden Love, Sheldon Press, London, 1976) speaks of 'positive paedophilia' : feelings evidenced by the tenderness and gentleness many adult human and grown animals of other species exhibit towards the young, unaccompanied by sexual approaches (though not necessarily without some degree of sexual attraction). 

'Paederasty', an older but not ancient word (first recorded literary usage in seventeenth century), is unequivocally sexual, by virtue of incorporating the Greek 'erastes', meaning (sexual) lover. It has been defined, pejoratively, as 'sodomy with a boy' (Concise Oxford Dictionary), and thus denotes a specific act, rather than a predilection or orientation. 

The word is less in use now than of old, particularly in the last century, when it was virtually a synonym of 'sodomy', as the 'boy' in question could be a youth or even a young man. 

The first part of both words comes from 'pais', meaning 'boy', but only in the case of 'paedophilia' has this first part been generalised to include children of either sex. Also, a 'paedophile', unlike a 'paederast', may be a woman. It is usually taken that only an adult can be either a 'paedophile' or a 'paederast'. 

Neither term applies to children who engage in sexual acts together, although the sexual attraction of adolescents to children has been designated as 'paedophilia' and Lauretta Bender (see Chapter 2) has spoken of a boy who at the age of ten was 'taught paederasty' by a thirteen-year-old. 

There is no word in the English language to describe a child who is sexually attracted to adults. As children are capable of a wide range of erotic response, such a word would in fact be rather meaningless. Sometimes, the attraction of adults to adolescents, as opposed to (pre-pubertal) children, is referred to by the terms 'hebephilia' or 'ephebophilia'.

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