1 ) in terms of evaluating the CONDUCT of a man who may be a pedophile,
how far beyond statutory rape ( i.e., actual sexual intercourse )
shud the definition extend ?
a pat on the back ?
a kiss ?
a conversation of current events ?
2 ) shud the definition of a pedophile
include children sexually interested in children their own age ?
1) Well if you want to define paedophilia purely behaviouristically, then whichever acts are exclusively and necessarily harmful to children, those are the ones which should indicate paedophilia. A pat on the back or a conversation is unlikely to harm a child. A kiss is probably safe too, unless it is a french kiss - we'd have to look into the nature of child tongues, and whether contact between tongues is frightening for a child. Genital fondling or oral sex might confuse or frighten a child, although that might just be because we don't teach children about these things.
If you want to use observable behaviour to determine whether certain people fantasise about sex with children, then in that case many of these physically harmless actions could indicate paedophilia. Kissing a child on the lips can be quite suspicious, as can going up to random children and hugging them - that's what Jack McClellan does, and he describes himself as a paedophile.
2) Probably not. Although, children of similar age is another matter. Apparently about a third (or more; I'll provide a source if you want one) of reported paedophiles are under the age of consent, and arguably children themselves. These are usually teenage boys who are attracted to girls aged younger than about 11/12. These people, as far as I know, grow up to be paedophiles as we would normally define them, so I think it makes sense to say that they are paedophiles even when they are in their teens.
Of course, if we define these teens as young adults, and we define the objects of their attraction as children, then the definition of paedophilia remains very simple: adult attraction towards children. Sexual desire or sex play between
children is probably quite common, and probably not an indication of future paedophilia, so I wouldn't call it paedophilia.
Walter Hinteler wrote:
Okay. So, according to the ICD (Version 2007) paedophilia is "A sexual preference for children, boys or girls or both, usually of prepubertal or early pubertal age." (F65.4)
I've never understood why the law doesn't correspond to this definition. In the UK, the US and other places, it isn't just paedophilia that is illegal, but sex with people of late pubertal age, or even post-pubescent people. And sexual experimentation between
children or late- or post-pubescent people is also illegal, which I find quite strange. Surely the best way for us to learn about sex would be the hands-on approach.
I read an article the other day which described our concept of childhood as follows:
A golden, innocent, fenced-off part of society full of tow-headed little angels - until the minute they pass 16, when the fence crashes down and they want us to tear their clothes off and roger them senseless.
Anyway, I digress. Surely paedophilia should be defined as a sexual attraction towards people who have not yet reached the age at which they become ready to safely have sex. And surely the age of consent should correspond to this age at which we become ready for sex. If sex with late-adolescents harms them, then surely sexual attraction towards late adolescents is inappropriate and should be called 'paedophilia'. Why, then, is paedophilia commonly described as an attraction towards people younger than, say, 13 or 14, and yet the age of consent is often higher than that? I don't get it.