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Pederasty or paederasty is a (usually erotic) homosexual relationship between an adult male and a pubescent or adolescent male. The word pederasty derives from paiderastia "love of boys", a compound derived from pais "child, boy" and erastēs "lover". In French, however, "pédérastie" has been used as a synonym for homosexuality between adult males .

Historically, pederasty has existed as a variety of customs and practices within different cultures. The status of pederasty has changed over the course of history, at times considered an ideal and at other times a crime. In the history of Europe, its most structured cultural manifestation was Athenian pederasty, and became most prominent in the 6th century BC. Greek pederasty's various forms were the subject of philosophic debates in which the purely carnal type was unfavorably compared with erotic friendships and moderate forms, known as Sophrosyne.

The legal status of pederasty in most countries is determined by whether or not the boy has reached the local age of consent, and as to whether such contact is considered abusive to the young person.

Etymology and usage

Pederasty derives from the combination of παίδ- (the Greek stem for boy or child) with ἐραστής (Greek for lover; cf. eros). Late Latin pæderasta was borrowed in the 16th century directly from Plato's classical Greek in The Symposium. (Latin transliterates αί as æ.) The word first appeared in the English language during the Renaissance, as pæderastie (e.g. in Samuel Purchas' Pilgrimes), in the sense of sexual relations between men and boys.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as "Homosexual relations between a man and a boy; homosexual anal intercourse, usually with a boy or younger man as the passive partner".<ref>Oxford English Dictionary, "pederasty".</ref>

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Pederasty" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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