Monday, March 22, 2010
Monday, March 8, 2010
I came upon this brief definition today in the New World Encyclopedia online. Without shedding the complexity and ambiguity inherent in this abuse the central premises are helpful in understanding Maciel and other "pedophiles", even in the light of other liaisons with young women and adolescent boys and young men...
The word pedophilia comes from the Greek paidophilia (παιδοφιλια)—pais (παις, "child") and philia (φιλια, "love, friendship"). Paidophilia was coined by Greek poets as a substitute for "paiderastia" (pederasty) (Liddell and Scott 1959).
The term paedophilia erotica was coined in 1886 by the Austro-German psychiatrist Richard von Krafft-Ebing in his writing Psychopathia Sexualis (1886). He described the following characteristics:
1] the sexual interest is toward children, either prepubescent or at the beginning of puberty
2] the sexual interest is the primary one, that is, exclusively or mainly toward children
3] the sexual interest remains over time
Strictly speaking, this definition would include many adolescents and prepubescents for whom such an interest might be normal. Thus, some experts add the criterion that the interest be toward children at least five years younger than the subject. However, according to other experts, a diagnosis of pedophilia can also be appropriate for a post-pubescent adolescent (Janssen 2003).
In the United States and several other countries, the term "pedophile" is also used to denote significantly older adults who are sexually attracted to adolescents, as well as those who have sexually abused a child (Ames and Houston 1990).