Links on the History of Adult Attraction to Young People

This Web directory links to articles on the history of adults' sexual attraction to prepubescent children and adolescents. More precisely (since the age of adulthood varies from culture to culture), Pais concentrates on the history of attraction to prepubescents and adolescents by people who are significantly older than the young people to whom they are attracted.

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Pais is the Ancient Greek word for "children," both boys and girls (pais is also the Greek word for "boy"). The word was sometimes applied to prepubescents and sometimes to adolescents. From the root of the word, paido- (paedo- in Latin), come such English words as pediatrics, pedagogy, pedophilia, and pederasty. Among the topics examined at this site are pedophilia, pederasty, and intergenerational marriage between adults and young people (sometimes called child marriage).

Attraction to prepubescents is studied here alongside attraction to adolescents because some historians have found it helpful to study the two attractions side by side. Other historians believe it is more useful to study attraction to adolescents in the context of attraction between adults.

The links are grouped according to historical chronology. Visitors seeking information on particular topics, such as the history of pederasty or the history of marriage, should be able to locate the information, as each link is accompanied by a description of the article's contents.

Visitors should understand that the bibliography sections are incomplete; they are simply meant as a starting point for further reading.

The links at this site were compiled in 2000. They were checked for accuracy on February 2004.


You may start with the table of contents or you may browse through the links.


The purpose of this site is to provide links for historical study. Visitors should note that, because of the subject matter, some of the links may not be appropriate viewing for minors. Some links contain historical writings or art, or treatments of historical topics, that some visitors may find morally objectionable. Descriptions of the links (including terminology) are based on the wording in the original articles or books, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editor of this site.

Many of the articles that are linked were written in the context of the discussion of the history of heterosexual or homosexual attraction between adults of the same age. The links' inclusion at this site is not intended to imply that either heterosexuals or homosexuals are more likely to be attracted to prepubescent children or adolescents than are people who are of a different sexual orientation.

Similarly, the inclusion of links to historical studies of a wide range of age groups is not mean to imply that adults who are attracted to adolescents are necessarily attracted to prepubescents.


Comments and questions may be sent to Heather Elizabeth Peterson at  [turn on JavaScript to read, or write to, replacing AT with the appropriate symbol]. Please note that this site will not be updated, and I therefore cannot answer research questions.
Copyright © 2004 Heather Elizabeth Peterson. All rights reserved.
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