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Ephebophilia – redefining criminal labels November 21, 2006

Posted by Al in : interesting,people , trackback

It’s rare to find people willing to stand up and talk sense these days, and so it’s good to read that both a leading police officer, and a journalist are capable of doing just that. A Chief Police Officer, named Terry Grange, has suggested we stop labeling all sex offenders who have sex with underage partners as paedophiles. Predictably there was a swift response from a kid’s charity to say that they were all paedophiles and should be labeled and treated as such. In this well written article Carol Sayer, writing for the Times, points out that although they are currently legally judged to be paedophiles this is not correct in both English and possibly in relation to their crime. There is a huge gulf between a 50 year old man molesting a 5 year old boy, and then a 16 year old boy having sex with a willing 13 year old girl. However both would currently be labeled as paedophiles, which is not the kind of record you would want.

Ephebophilia, by the way, is the correct word for defining an adult who is attracted to post-pubescent adolescents. Since language has this definition, and since our age of consent is completely arbitrary, then maybe it is time for a rethink of this rather touchy area of the law.


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