While there is no doubt that Richard I was gay, I am not aware of any evidence making him a paedophile, nor of any in the case of Julius Caesar, who cannot even be assuredly regarded as bi.

Bother! That’sWas the author of Peter Pan a pedophile?.

Fram the description in the letter, the writer’s friend who keeps finding pedophiles across history may be either:

(a) a crank with a particular hang-up; or

(b) someone who, running across a reference about X or Y frolicking with one or more 12-year-olds, forgets to consider whether in that day and age in that society 12-year-olds were considered viable frolic partners.

This is a long shot, but it’s possible the woman got her claims about Richard I from “The Lion in Winter”. In it, King Philip II claimed that Richard had molested him when he was younger. Then again, that’s a movie and historical fiction, and it’s probably a fact put in the movie for drama. Either way, that’s the only place I’ve ever seen that brought up the fact that Richard may have been a pedophile.

As for the article, it looks like Michael Jackson is a reincarnation of JM Barrie. :smiley:

It is ironic that the two rich & famous men most obsessed with Peter Pan have also been labelled pedophiles: Michael Jackson (of Neverland Ranch fame) and Robert Stephenson (Lord) Baden-Powell, British born war hero, spy and founder of the Boy Scouts (and a man so obsessed with the book and play that he named his late-in-life son Peter and nicknamed his daughter Wendy). Accusations against Jackson are well known, but BP (as in Be Prepared) was an odd bird all around- rumors he was gay center around his long-term residency with fellow bachelor Kenneth McLaren (who was hot even by today’s standards) before marrying in his fifties to a much younger lady he would not spend the night with (he slept on her balcony at their English mansion even in winter, though he did manage to produce three children). Suspicions of his pedophilia are fueled by his seeming fascination with nude boys- he made no secret of the fact that he thoroughly enjoyed watching naked pubescant lads swimming and exercising, though whether he ever had improper relations with one is unknown.

Even within living memory nude swimming and exercising were routine. As evidence goes, it’s pretty weak.

For the life of me, I don’t understand why men perving on young boys is pedo when the men perv on young girls all the time?


Dear Cecil:

While your answer to the question on Barrie’s alleged pedophilia was excellent, you did not address the other names he mentioned, and he did not mention some famous homosexuals whose charges were young men.

I am thinking of Alexander the Great, whose story will be in movie theaters next week. Aristotle was his mentor, and it is recorded in history that the famed philosopher was gay, and slept with his young students. He himself had been seduced by Socrates, his mentor, who put himself away, under duress, by drinking some potent hemlock.

If I remember my history, Aristotle convinced Alexander to take a large number of young cadets with his legions, and assign them to his senior officers as aides. The cadets took care of the menial jobs an officer had no time to do, and at night served as the officers’ distraction. This was done to prevent the officers from having to use the services of the female camp followers, who were often riddled with STDs, and in infecting their patrons, could soon decimate an Army on the march, thousands of leagues from Macedonia.

Is my memory correct, or failing, like the rest of my body?

Marc Bressler

To begin with, Socrates was dead before Aristotle was born.

The theory of homosexual mentoring in the military was a common assumption in ancient Greece. Greece, for all its glories, was an extremely misogynist society, and it was pretty much taken for granted that while women were necessary for making babies, other men were the proper source of serious relationships. (For mere occasional whoopie, either could serve.)

So a good many important figures of ancient Greece did practice what we would regard as paedophilia. But we must remember that it was in large part expected of them.

and that attraction to pubescents is ephebophilia, not pædophilia.

Lewis Carroll had kiddie porn? When did this come out?

and women who “perv” on young boys do prison time.

In addition to several other talents, Lewis Carroll was a very serious amateur photographer, and is generally regarded as the greatest 19th-century photographer of children. Some of the pictures he took were nude studies. In every case, this was with parental permission.

As far as I know, none of them qualify as “kiddie porn”. They are pictures of children who are nude, but that is not quite the same thing. This is especially true in a context of typical Victorian child-worship, in which the overt message of such pictures (photographed or not) is Innocence.

On the other hand, Lewis Carroll’s interest in little girls was probably not altogether healthy. On the other other hand, he had a terrible stammer, and was only comfortable with children.

For Cecil’s take, see Was Lewis Carroll a perv?.

Many of Carroll’s photographs are available on-line. Just do a Google Image search on “Lewis Carroll” and “Alice” for a selection. Among the webpages turned up is a Russian one with the Evelyn Hatch picture Cecil mentions. I cannot but think that the suggestion of the “grace of an odalisque on a divan” is intentional, but, again, with a Victorian mindset, it is easy to think of the child-subject as contradicting, or even defying the apparent eroticism, rather than as embodying it.

Sampiro you are a veritable font of Gay History Information. From what well of gay knowledge do you draw your information so that I may enlighten myself in this area.

As JWK has already pointed out, Socrates died years before Aristotle’s birth. Aristotle was a student of Plato, who was a student of Socrates. It was Socrates who died of hemlock poisoning, but contrary to your implications above this had nothing to do with his sex life.

The people of Athens did object to the way Socrates was “corrupting the youth”, but this was because of his ideas about government and religion and not because he allegedly had a thing for teenaged boys. That would hardly have been considered worth mentioning in that time and place, unless it prevented him from marrying and having children like a good Athenian citizen. But this wasn’t the case with Socrates, as he managed to father several children by his wife Xanthippe (despite her legendary bad temper).

Media who, at best, do not look up what words mean, or at worst seek out the most inflammatory that can apply but in a discriminatory fashion.
As I understand it:
A sexual paraphilia (“perving”) focused on any CHILD, that is, one who has not entered puberty and is not developing any secondary sexual characteristics, regardless if male or female, is pedophilia.

Jonesing after adolescent youths is ephebophilia (From the Greek ephebos, “youth”), or also caled in some contexts hebephilia.

Actually carrying on sex with underage males, specifically, is called pederasty, Greek for “boy-love” (referring to the Classical Greek custom of elder men taking on the role of lover-mentor to an adolescent boy).

Pursuing a sexually-matured teen (say, 15 and above, YMMV), may be illegal depending on your jurisdiction but is not really pathological unless you make a compulsive habit of it (or if you’re frontman for a hit rock-n-roll band, wherein it’s a job requirement :wink: ).

My hypothesis:
Writers, commentators and reporters tag male-on-male pederasts, ephebophiles and pedophiles alike with the blanket “pedophile” as a way to simplify, avoid using legalese or giving explanations (because God forbid you may be interpreted to be “nuancing” when it comes to “someone like that”, what’s wrong with you, are you making excuses, hmmm?), and elicit the maximum revulsion from the audience (“A Threat to Your Children!” sells more papers than “A Threat to Cute 16-year-olds!”). As to why you may see that very often a male-on-female ephebo/hebephile will NOT be tagged a pedophile while his M-M counterpart will, well, that may be discriminatory bias, tying it either consciously or even unconsciously to homophobic connotations, or to a slight blame-the-victim “Lolita” mentality against the girls.

This is one of the most educated and rational discussions of pedophilia on any web forum. Much praise to all posters. A small note, Lewis Carrol’s photos probably would be considered child-porn compared to other photos that are shown more or less under that name. Secondly, it depends how you read it, I wonder if the fathers of some of Socrates’ pupils were annoyed at the way he ‘corrupted’ them. Lastly, Socrates had two wives, he married his brothers wife after his brother passed away. And, it looks like Walt Witman was another famous pedophile.

In that place and time, they would be the freaks, not Socrates.

Anyway, we know what the trial of Socrates was about, and we know what the charge of “corrupting youth” meant, and it had to do with religion, not sex.

I just happened to find a sensible discussion on this topic here: Lewis Carroll and his relationships with children.

Could this be the same reason why my state changed the legal terminology from “Statutory Rape” to “Rape of a Child”? The first term seems to imply that the minor went along willingly, but was unfortunately underage (i.e 15-year-old girl with a 20-year-old boyfriend). The second term evokes images of a scary man hiding in the bushes, jumping out and having his way with some poor innocent little kid. Now it’s so much easier to get a conviction.