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ephebophilia (adjective, ephebophilic): a paraphilia of the eligibilic/stigmatic type distinct from nepiophilia and pedophiliain that the age of the partner is postpubertal and adolescent [from Greek, ephebos, a postpubertal young person + -philia] The technical term for the reciprocal paraphilic condition in which an older person impersonates an adolescent is paraphilic adolescentilism. Synonym, hebephilia, the condtition in which an adult is responsive to and dependent on the actuality or imagery of erotic/sexual activity with an adolescent boy or girl in order to obtain erotic arousal and facilitate or achieve orgasm. An ephebophiliac may be of either sex. Ephebophilic activity may be replayed in fantasy during masturbation or copulation with an older partner. See also gerontophilia; nepiophilia; pedophilia.

Dictionary of Sexology Project: Main Index

The New York Times for 19 April, 2002, defines ephebophilia as sexual attraction exclusively toward teenagers. This definition occurs in a discussion of pedophilia by Catholic priests, a subject of recent scandal in the United States.

The article makes the point that many of the priests who have committed acts of sexual abuse are not technically pedophiles because their victims are generally not children, but teenagers. Also, the article reminds us that homosexuals are no more likely than heterosexuals to be pedophiles.

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