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Q: The morale criteria behind paedophilia ( No Answer,   7 Comments )
Subject: The morale criteria behind paedophilia
Category: Relationships and Society > Relationships
Asked by: asopp-ga
List Price: $3.00
Posted: 14 Jun 2006 16:09 PDT
Expires: 14 Jul 2006 16:09 PDT
Question ID: 738209
Hi. I wish to know the criterion for what is a paedophile -- please
read my entire message before answering. I am aware that in different
cultures and in different ages, the answer may vary. I am in no way
religious; in fact, I am a physicist by training. Thus, I would like
to know the most factual arguement, based majorly upon our current
empirical understanding of what should constitute paedophilia. I fully
understand and strongly agree that there is a point at which sexual
activity should be prohibited o the basis of one of the parties being
just too imature to participate. However, I feel that perhaps the
western culture has placed rather too high a limit. The main reason
for this I suppose is that the east asian culture views things rather

Now if you can tell me that there is scientific evidence for our UK
age limit of  16 years is appropriate then tell me. If this is just a
safe upper limit then I actually agree, as I imagine that this will be
roughly taking into account the variability in rate of maturation of
humans; that is, even the late developers will have matured by this

I suspect that I am basing my own criteria of a sensible legal age for
sex on physiology rather than psychology, and thus I would greatly
appreciate you specifiying which is more important and which matures
later in age.

Thanks very much for your response. I hope that you maintain integrity
even though this is a subject which is strongly affected by popular
opinion. I myself believe that adherence to the law is essential, but
at the same time questioning the law is also essential in any properly
functioning democracy.


There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: The morale criteria behind paedophilia
From: pinkfreud-ga on 14 Jun 2006 16:20 PDT
If you are seriously interesting in receiving a thoroughly-researched
answer, I suggest that you raise your price considerably. Few
Researchers are likely to want to spend much time researching and
compiling an answer in order to earn $2.25 (the Researcher's share of
a $3.00 fee).
Subject: Re: The morale criteria behind paedophilia
From: pinkfreud-ga on 14 Jun 2006 16:25 PDT
In my first sentence above, the word "interesting" should have been
"interested." Sorry. Sometimes my fingers can type faster than my
brain can think.
Subject: Re: The morale criteria behind paedophilia
From: lifeismostbeautiful-ga on 15 Jun 2006 04:12 PDT
I suggest you consult the DSM-IV, which provides comprehensive
criteria for paedophilia. It is listed under the section on
paraphilias and cites that:

-over a period of 6 months, recurrent, intense, sexual arousing urges
or behaviours involving sexual activity with a prepubescent child or
-the victim is defined as a child under 13 and the offender has to be
at least 16 (with a minimum age gap of five years between victim and
-hebephilia refers to ongoing sexual arousal towards adolescents aged
between 13 and 16

As for cultures having different definitions, then I think it would
depend on what age the child is considered to enter their rite of
passage into adulthood - after all, puberty is completely socially
constructed. Furthermore, some cultures don't have any problems with
sexual relationships between adult men and children (particularly
young boys), in fact, many actually encourage this sort of behaviour
as a valuable learning experience for the younger party.
Subject: Re: The morale criteria behind paedophilia
From: lifeismostbeautiful-ga on 15 Jun 2006 04:15 PDT
I am not aware of any scientific rationale behind the age of 13 or 16.
The brain is not fully developed until the age of 21 - where the
frontal lobes are completely formed and an individual is capable of
planning ahead and weighing up consequences of behaviour. Arguably,
this should be the age of consent based on any "scientific" knowledge
of planning and maturity.
Subject: Re: The morale criteria behind paedophilia
From: lifeismostbeautiful-ga on 15 Jun 2006 04:58 PDT
I meant ephebophilia - not hebephilia
Subject: Re: The morale criteria behind paedophilia
From: aussietpp-ga on 15 Jun 2006 05:24 PDT
In Western Australia the age of consent is 16 years of age. Thus it is
also the age a girl and boy are legally allowed to have a child. But
in Western Australia you must be 18 years of age or over to get
married. You could go to court to try to get permission, but even if
the girl is pregnant, you are likely to be turned down.
Subject: Re: The morale criteria behind paedophilia
From: myoarin-ga on 15 Jun 2006 08:19 PDT
You have asked about the criteria for a paedophile, which the first
comment by Lifeismostbeautiful-ga seems to answer well, although legal
definitions in each country are what count, regardless of personal
opinions by you or us or those involved.
The laws are directed against paedophilia, of course, but also against
adults in a position of responsibility or authority taking advantage
of adolescents, also persons significantly older.  The laws vary in
their definition of this, and they have over the centuries as you can
read from sites found with a search for:
age of consent uk

It used to be 12 years in England, long ago (which for me questions
statistics about pubescence starting earlier just in the last few
generations  - also considering that marriage in Roman times was
common for young teenagers).

Sexual relations of 14-16 year-olds is not paedophilia, although those
worried about sexual mores like to pin the word on it to protect
adolescents from doing what they will if an older person is involved,
which is a good thing.

With that search, you will find a site with a long list of the age of
consent for many countries that probably says more about the attitude
in the different countries than about maturity of the adolescents
there.  The lawmakers in some countries, such as Germany, seem to have
recognized that what adolescents do with each other should not be

These sites may also be of interest:

It should be mentioned that Peter Tatchell is elsewhere identified as
a "gay human rights campaigner".

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