It’s the week of finals, and this is completely unrelated to my current coursework (as much as one thing is unrelated to another, I suppose)
But here I am, writing about it anyway. I recently saw a link posted to this post. I read it, and thought it was interesting.
I know I said I was going to post more personal shit on here. But what’s more personal than exposing what your mind is really thinking about?
Besides, you wouldn’t like me if I faked it and got all diary on here talking about things i really don’t spend half as much time thinking through anyways. Riiiiight?
Is the sexual abuse of a male minor by another male considered a form of pedophilia, or of homosexuality?
Most would instantly answer pedophilia, but it may all depend on how you were exposed to the issue.
We can look at it from a number of different behavioral patterns, the most important being preference. For instance, when examining a typical heterosexual relationship, a woman will find a man interesting, for a number of different reasons, but if denied reciprocal feelings by said man, will more than likely find another male to become the center of their focus. Even the most preferential person, that is the most particular, will simply exchange one man for another, with quite common and overlapping characteristics between the two.
The same could be said for a typical homosexual relationship. One male’s attention could be drafted from one male to another, just as the woman’s from one man to another.
These characteristics we search for in our mates can manifest themselves in a number of different categories, including physical traits, personality, age, sex, etcetera. For instance, when describing recent exes, one could deduce that as a twenty-one year old five foot five average built redheaded art and sociology student of above average intelligence, my “type” typically includes a brunette male of comparable intelligence who is taller than me, of average build and interested in a number of overlapping categories, within an average of five years of my own age. Statistically, there is a large pool of men who fall into that category from which to choose. Taking into consideration my geographic location and typical comfort zone, which would span from my house to about 40 miles in either direction, the pool gets narrowed even further, but still leaves a considerable amount of people to choose from. If I were to, say, narrow my height down to between 5’8 and 5’10, and lower the age range to be between 24 and 25, rather than 21 to 26 and merely above 5’5, my odds would admittedly get slimmer. Regardless, there are a number of people who fit those categories; this person potentially (and more than likely probably) exists without me completely re-adjusting my categories.
The same would be said for preferential offenders in pedophilia, though (Preferential offenders have a particular age, gender or a specific physical characteristics preference for children they sexually abuse; this differs from situational offenders, who are merely opportunistic offenders who operate regardless of these bounds, but rather based on location factors and access).
So, the question differentiating pedophilia from homosexuality would come down to which preference was more significant to the offender: age, or gender?
For example, for the typical heterosexual female, it would be easier to budge on age restraints, rather than simply seeking out those same preferenced characteristics in a female within your target age range. Simply put, I would sacrifice my need for a potential male to fall between the ages of 21-26, and say, date a 28 year old, rather than dating a female.
So, is it more about gender, or age? Well, that all depends on the individual. For instance, it would be easy to get marked by law as a pedophile if you were 16 and sexually active with an 11 year old. This, however, would become more situational pedophilia, if you were 24 and the same person 19, making that same age range not as significant, in terms of pedophilia1. However, if you found yourself to be 24 and your other still remained 11, it would obviously be more based on age, rather than gender.
1Pedophilia is typically defined as a “sexual preference for children, boys or girls or both, usually of prepubertal or early pubertal age”. Under this system’s criteria, a person 16 years of age or older meets the definition if they have a persistent or predominant sexual preference for prepubescent children at least five years younger than them. (World Health Organization)