How common was pedophilia in the past?

Ok this might have to be a separate thread but I’ll start it here 1st.

Is it the actual act of pedophilia that is so devastating to the child or the stigma attached along with the don’t tell anyone aspect?

I do not wish to come close to defending pedophiles, in this thread or any other, but…

There’s some research going around that has lead researchers to conclude that sexual molestation of children doesn’t necessarily emotionally scar them for life; that it’s more our making a big deal out of it that does the damage. The gist of their findings was that kids are resilient and that a molestation victim isn’t likely to suffer real emotional damage if the adults in his/her life don’t make a big deal about it.

I don’t have a cite for this; I heard it in the context of a radio program, and the host was blasting the researchers for daring to publish these conclusions. And I’m not about to try to run a search using “pedophilia + harmless” or somesuch.

in relation to the historic aspect of the original question, pocahontas was twelve when she had her big fling with the captain and cleopatra was sixteen when she ruled.

However, Manda Jo, the conqueror that takes the village, rapes every female whatever the age, hacks to pieces every male, and sends the surviving females off to work in the brothels, is generally NOT going upon return return to his hometown to seek out his own prepubescent daughters and nieces for recreational sodomy, or to use the next-door neighbors for bayonet practice on his day off.

So I will modify my statement to that it is pathological to seek out your pleasure in grievious injury to the non-consenting who are part of your own social environment, as part of your usual sexual preference – and I interpret the OP as referring to incidence of pedophilia under otherwise “normal” circumstances. There being no such thing as a “wild” human – we’re all in societies, however rudimentary – every one of us has received SOME conditioning to protect and respect some humans.

It would depend on the level of the “molestation” though. The digusting old village pervert who tried to grope me and my young (female) cousins some years back hasn’t done any of us any permanent damage. Somebody later chased him out of the village with a gun, or the police chased him out for a robbery offence, I forget what.

However violent, physically damaging molestation such as full rape is going to leave scars, emotional and physical. And probably more scars if it is bottled up.

But Pocahontes did NOT have a “big fling” with Smith.

From the song “On the Shoulders of Freaks” by Henry Phillips:


Was it “Dr.” Laura?

I heard a couple of years ago that she was upset because the American Psychological Institute had published a study that she claimed said that molestation was actually good for children. Doubting that this was true, I asked my mother, who is a psychologist and subscribes to several of the APA journals. I haven’t got a proper cite either, but Lamia’sMum said the study did not claim that molestation was beneficial, or even harmless, but rather that in many cases it does not always cause the sort of lifelong devastating incurable psychological damage often portrayed in the media.

I gathered that it was not really a very shocking study at all, as the main conclusions seem to have been pretty commonsensical – that with therapy most victims will recover, that even without therapy many will recover, and that the level of psychological harm suffered varies widely depending on the circumstances and the age of the victim.

rowrrbazzle: I see that I’m not the only one who bought Dr. Demento’s 30th anniversary CD :slight_smile:


This is exactly my point: it is the result of conditioning, not any sort of inate “decency”, and the nature of that conditioning can vary widely: as alciabiades points out, Upper-class Romans weren’t conditioned against violating poeple of a lower social status than them, and I daresay these people were people they saw and had at least some interaction with daily. Once again, this illustrates the problem with trying to impose a modern label on a totally different culture: In a sloppy attempt to modernize it, I would consider a white man who onlymolested black boys, and in fact found the idea of having sex with his “own kind” distasteful to still be a pedophile…

This, of course, being not exactly true. There have been instances of ‘wild’ humans: Humans who were so shut off from normal contact that they completely failed to emotionally develop as anything one would think of as human. This was the result of horrbile instances of child abuse.

Google for ‘feral children’ or similar topics.

Just a nitpick, as such poor people have no relevance to this discussion.

On the greek topic; I’ll say that’s false and could lead to a missunderstanding (a probably to a new try by NAMBLA to abolish age of consent laws)

The Greek Pederasty was in fact a educational institution for the inculcation of moral and cultural values. The ideal of beauty was the adolescence.

The age range for an eromenos (beloved) was usually from 14 to earlies 20’s although modern obeservers restric it from 12 to 18; wich indicates that the boy at least was in their puberty.

so if now bring the modern definition of pedophilia it’s defined as the exclusively or primary sexual preference for Pre-pubescent boys (12 or younger) or girls (11 or younger) but here comes the big deal.

According to Colin Spencer ;The men who had relationships with prepubescent boys around twelve or younger were generally looked down upon for their actions

“this reproach was not for any legal reasons, but due to the fact that the Greeks thought the prepubescent boys did not have the mental capacity to be fully aware of what they were doing”

And according to Foucault it was not acceptable to have sex with those too young because:
“it arrests growth and disturbs the development of the signs of puberty.”

so as we can see in the ancient greece pedophilia was seen as abnormal as nowadays

So we have to distinguish between “pedophilia” and the practice of pederasty in antiquity. Now another interesting date it’s in Greece:

The physical dimension of the relationship ranged from fully chaste to sexual intercourse. Bringing back the sparta example that you gave.

Xenophon in his Constitution of the Lacedaimonians says that Spartan customs were unsuited to pederasty: a man might aim for idealized friendship with a boy but a sexual relationship was considered “an abomination” tantamount to incest.

Now related to ancient rome’s .where sex was more ambiguous.

On one hand the children and even the adolescents were protected by the law against sexual predators. But that only apply to free-born childs and as you accurately say the only “pederastic relationships” (an anti-ethic version) were focused on “explotation” of young slave males.

having said that ;IT DOESN’T mean that if an adult had a sexual intercourse with slave child (younger than 12) that would considred normal or aproved by roman’s society but there’s was a few romans could do… to prosecute the guilty one :mad:. Since slaves wasn’t considered humans but instead “objects”.

so as you can see i such things took place in rome was primarily to loophole that it had regarding child slaves.

In Conclusion Pedophilia was no more normal nor less than it is nowadays.:slight_smile:

This thread is still only 12 years old, so don’t get any ideas pervs.

At the risk of sparking a flame war with half the religious world, Muhammad married (and purportedly consummated with) a nine-year-old girl.

Sorry if this was already mentioned, but I was watching that Taboo series and they said that they found evidence that either the Greeks or Romans passed one of the first pedophilia laws preventing infants from working at brothels.

In one more year it’ll reach the Japanese age of consent.

I do find it interesting that virtually no nations have an age of consent before puberty. The lowest are about 13 (most are 14-18).

I’m assuming humans are naturally repulsed by the idea of sex with pre-pubescents and it isn’t a recent cultural development (meaning sex with pre-pubescents has always been frowned upon in the human condition, barring some social impedus in favor of it). But I base that on nothing but an assumption.

You can answer in Kentucky with parental consent.

Ghandi also slept nude with his nude young nieces to increase his ability to resist temptation and supposedly never had sex with them.

12 years to get a answer. Yes it was common enough to have to pass a law against it, and Cecil is expecting the war to be fought on some time table :confused:

i haven’t made much research about sexuality history & background of muslims.
or coran to be more specific. But Once i talked with a muslim and she said that Aisha was in fact 15 years old. anyway I’m not sure of that.

if that’s true well i guess it’s the only pedophilic relationship (if it was consumated) in history that was approved :eek:

Tons in Indian (Asian) history. One example is the film “Bandit Queen,” about the female warrior bandit Phoolan Devi. She was married at 12 by a man in his 30’s or something by arranged marriage.