Sex with Minors?

by Jason Stotts

One problem with the lack of knowledge of sexual issues is a loss of clarity regarding these issues. Indeed, there is a very rich vocabulary in English to cover most every sexual possibility and to clearly differentiate one from the next. Unfortunately, people frequently do not know these terms and end up having to describe the situation, or worse end up using incorrect terms. Such is that case of sex with minors.

Let us say that you heard that your neighbor recently had sex with a minor and is now in court facing charges. You might label him a pedophile, right? No! It matters what age the minor is and what stage of development they are at. You see, pedophilia is a precise term and it means attraction towards pre-pubescent minors. Let me repeat this so that you can’t possibly miss it:

Pedophilia is attraction towards pre-pubescent minors.

Pedophilia is not simply having sex with a minor, nor does the actual age of the minor have much to do with whether it is pedophilia or not. It is whether the child has yet to hit puberty that determines whether it is pedophilia. If the child has not yet hit puberty, then it is pedophilia, if the child has already hit puberty, then it is…what? It turns out there is an English term for this as well (although it’s obviously not very well known). The term is ephebophilia and it means attraction to post-pubescent minors. That is, persons after puberty but before the legal age of adulthood/consent.

Ephebophilia is attraction towards post-pubescent minors.

Thus, both pedophilia and ephebophilia refer to the attraction of a person to minors. However, they are very different in that the former is for pre-pubescent minors and the latter for post-pubescent minors.

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