Pederasty ( ancient Greek παιδεραστία paiderastía , from παῖς pais "boy" and ἐραστής erastés "lover") or boy love describes an institutionalized form of homosexuality in ancient Greece between men ( pederasts ) and male older children or young people. In addition to the sexual component, which was differently pronounced, an educational claim also played a central role. This behavior was rated positively, at least in the case of young people, because the older children and young people concerned mostly had social security as a result.
The term pederasty has undergone a major change in meaning over the course of history. Originally, pederasty referred to an institutionalized form of sexual relations between adult men and male children and adolescents in ancient Greece. With this historical meaning it is used primarily in science today. Another area in which it is still used is the social anthropological context, where it is used across the board for comparable phenomena in different - sometimes historical - cultures.
In modern times, in analogy to historical significance, similar relationship constellations in other cultures and epochs have often been referred to as pederasty. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, it was also used to denote homosexuality itself or any anal intercourse , replacing the term sodomy, which has been compromised because of its religious undertones . In some cases, it was also used to refer specifically to sexual contacts between adults and male children and adolescents.
Since the second half of the 20th century, the term has only been used sporadically in scientific publications to denote the sexual preference of adult men towards male children and adolescents. Because of its historically so different usage, the term ephebophilia is primarily used today in modern sexology for the sexual preferences of an adult male for male adolescents .
Colloquially, the term continues to be used both to denote the sexual preference for male children and adolescents and to express this preference through real sexual contacts. In addition, it is often used synonymously with the term pedophilia or viewed as its special male-male form. In a pederastic relationship, the younger partner is usually understood as a child. Note that the two terms actually have different meanings. Pedophilia describes the sexual preference for children (boys, girls or children of both sexes) who are primarily before puberty or in an early stage of puberty , while the expression pederasty only refers to relationships between men and pubescent or sexually mature adolescents, especially in a historical context is applied.
The adolescent partner in a pederastic relationship was called Eromenos , which means "loved one" or "beloved," and was usually between the ages of 12 and 18. For the older relationship partner, the so-called Erastes, there were no fixed age limits. Only the age-related physical and psychological superiority was decisive, so a man could at the same time be the Eromenos in a relationship with an older man and the Erastes in a relationship with a younger youth.
The most important places of initiation for pederastic relationships were the palaestra , the sports field and the gymnasium . Here men were offered various opportunities to make contact with a young person and to woo him with the help of gifts. Animal gifts in particular were common; Money, on the other hand, was sometimes offered as a gift, but acceptance by the young person was considered dishonorable.
In principle, pederastic relationships were open to all (male) citizens , but not to slaves and strangers. Because of the high expenditure of time and repeated donations, pederasty was primarily a privilege of the aristocrats . Individual regions, such as Ionia , completely rejected pederasty.
A central aspect of a pederastic relationship - this differentiated this relationship constellation from the legal but socially outlawed prostitution - was the educational goal. The Erastes was supposed to bring Eromenos closer to social ideals and educate him to “male virtue and moral impeccability”. According to Plato , the goals of such a connection consisted of “making the Pais wise and good, promoting reason and the rest of virtue, and imparting education and the rest of wisdom”.
The extent and form of sexual contact differed in the individual epochs of ancient Greece. Plato, in particular, made sexual abstinence an ideal, but emphasized the legitimacy of occasional sexual contact. It can therefore be assumed that sexual acts have been part of pederastic relationships in every era.
The leg Traffic was socially accepted form of sexual intercourse between a man and a boy. However, it can be assumed that in reality other practices have also come into play. B. Aristophanes ' comedy The Clouds Relates. The frequency of the representation of anal intercourse between men and women on vase paintings also suggests this. Unlike a man, a woman was entitled to submit to sexual intercourse - this was considered an expression of pleasure.
Sexual contact in a pederastic relationship should only serve to satisfy the actively acting Erastes. However, this should be done in such a way that the boy would not suffer any humiliation - and this was clearly the case with anal intercourse according to the ideas of the time, since his male identity would have been called into question. Should it become known that an Eromenos had consented to anal intercourse and thereby taken on the passive, female role, he would earn derision and contempt in society. Because of this, people often kept silent about the sexual aspect - they didn't talk about it or expect to be asked about it; it was a taboo subject even in Greek society .
Representation in art and literature
In Symposion, Plato describes his doctrine of pederasty, which is oriented towards sexual abstinence, by letting various philosophers of bygone days have their say on a fictional festivity. Pausanias, a student of the sophist Prodikos , is supposed to give an eulogy of Eros like the others and explains the platonic love of boys:
“That is why those inspired by this Eros turn to the male sex, in that they love that which is naturally stronger and more intelligent. And in the case of love for boys, too, one can easily distinguish between those driven purely by this eros; for they do not love children, but only those who already understand; but this coincides approximately with the time of the first beard growth. "
Pausanias does not exclude sexual satisfaction as long as the lover performs every service to the boy that will help him gain wisdom and goodness. The boy, on the other hand, has to hold back and approve of this relationship as an expression of admiration and not for material reasons.
The performing arts in ancient Greece also dealt with pederasty. Two aspects of boyhood love are particularly common, especially in the form of vase painting. The first is the courtship of the boy, which is often shown with the so-called up -down position : one hand of the lover touches the face, the other moves towards the mostly bared genitals. The other relates to the sexual fulfillment of such relationships. A specific representation of thigh intercourse is shown almost exclusively .
The valuation of pederastic relationships has been subject to significant historical change and has repeatedly been the subject of controversial debate throughout history.
A (possibly not entirely serious) philosophical defense of this practice was the polemic L'Alcibiade, fanciullo a scola (Alcibiades, the schoolboy) by the Italian priest Antonio Rocco, published in 1652 , in which the teacher gradually raised the objections of his beautiful pupil overcomes carnal relationships.
At the end of the 19th century, Friedrich Engels denounced the ancient Greeks in his work “ The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State ” for the “repugnance of boyfriends”.
A few years earlier, however, Friedrich Nietzsche had come to the opinion in his work “Menschliches, Allzumenschliches” that “young people have never again been treated so attentively, so lovingly, so thoroughly with regard to their best (virtus) as in the sixth and fifth centuries ”.
In the 1970s and 1980s representatives led by Emancipation groups of Pädo- , lifting and ephebophile the Greek pederasty as proof of their view possible consensual sexual relations between adults and children and young people in order their demand for the abolition of the age of consent to establish .
The archaeologist Carola Reinsberg sees Eromenos' passive understanding of the role in sexual contacts as an indication of the youth's compulsive oppression.
Institutionalized forms of “boy love” similar to pederasty also existed as wakashudō in the samurai culture of Japan, as a means of “power transmission” at initiations by boys in New Guinea and Melanesia, and are still there today as Baccha Baazi in Afghanistan.
- Carola Reinsberg : marriage, hetarianism and boy love in ancient Greece . CH Beck Verlag, Munich 1989, ISBN 3-406-33911-5 .
- Harald Patzer : The Greek Knabenliebe , Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1982. In: Meeting reports of the Scientific Society at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main, Vol. 1.
- Kenneth J. Dover : Homosexuality in Ancient Greece . CH Beck Verlag, Munich 1983, ISBN 3-406-07374-3 .
- Thomas K. Hubbard : Homosexuality in Greece and Rome . Univ. of California Press, Berkeley 2003, ISBN 0-520-23430-8 .
- William A. Percy III. : Pederasty and Pedagogy in Archaic Greece . Univ. of Illinois Press, 1998, ISBN 0-252-06740-1 .
- Julius Rosenbaum : History of the lust epidemic in antiquity for doctors, philologists and antiquity researchers. Hall 1839; 7th, revised edition, enlarged with an appendix, Verlag von H [ermann] Barsdorf, Berlin 1904 (title: History of the lust epidemic in antiquity together with detailed studies on the Venus and phallic cults, brothels, Νοῦσος ϑήλεια of the Scythians, paederasty and other sexual ones The debauchery of the ancients is presented as a contribution to the correct explanation of their writings. ) Pp. 108-131 ( Die Paederastie ).
- Growing Up Sexually: A World Atlas - extensive literature and data collection on sexual behavior
- Marriage, Hetarianism and Boy Love in Ancient Greece . CH Beck Verlag, Munich 1989, ISBN 3-406-33911-5 , p. 163.
- Carola Reinsberg : Marriage, Hetarianism and Boy Love in Ancient Greece . CH Beck Verlag, Munich 1989, ISBN 3-406-33911-5 .
- Joseph Geraci, Donald H. Mader: " Pedophilia (PDF; 430 kB)"; Warren Johansson : " Pederasty (PDF; 367 kB)"; both in: Wayne R. Dynes (ed.): The Encyclopedia of Homosexuality (Garland Reference Library of Social Science) , Taylor & Francis, March 1990, ISBN 0-8240-6544-1 .
- Otto Dornblüth, Clinical Dictionary , 13./14. Edition, 1927 .
- Pierers Universal Lexikon, Volume 12. Altenburg 1861, p. 551.
- 1932: Walter Marle: Guttmanns Medical Terminology, Urban & Schwarzenberg, 25./26. Edition, Berlin / Vienna 1932.
- Ron van Outsem : Sexual Abuse of Boys. Research, practice, perspectives
- Ahlers Ch. J., Schaefer GA, Beier KM (2005): "The spectrum of sexual disorders and their classifiability in DSM-IV and ICD-10.", Sexuologie 12 (3/4)
- Horst Dilling, Werner Mombour, Martin H. Schmidt : International Classification of Mental Disorders. ICD-10 Chapter V (F). Clinical diagnostic guidelines. 5th edition. Huber, Bern 2002, ISBN 3-456-84124-8
- Marriage, Hetarianism and Boy Love in Ancient Greece . CH Beck Verlag, Munich 1989, ISBN 3-406-33911-5 , p. 164.
- Kenneth J. Dover : Homosexuality in Ancient Greece . CH Beck Verlag, Munich 1983, ISBN 3-406-07374-3 , p. 55.
- marriage Hetärentum and pederasty in ancient Greece . CH Beck Verlag, Munich 1989, ISBN 3-406-33911-5 , p. 180.
- Marriage, Hetarianism and Boy Love in Ancient Greece . CH Beck Verlag, Munich 1989, ISBN 3-406-33911-5 , p. 170.
- marriage Hetärentum and pederasty in ancient Greece . CH Beck Verlag, Munich 1989, ISBN 3-406-33911-5 , p. 171.
- Marriage, Hetarianism and Boy Love in Ancient Greece . CH Beck Verlag, Munich 1989, ISBN 3-406-33911-5 , p. 189.
- Kenneth J. Dover: Homosexuality in Ancient Greece . CH Beck Verlag, Munich 1983, ISBN 3-406-07374-3 , p. 96.
- Kenneth J. Dover: Homosexuality in Ancient Greece . CH Beck Verlag, Munich 1983, ISBN 3-406-07374-3 , p. 53.
- Kenneth J. Dover: Homosexuality in Ancient Greece . CH Beck Verlag, Munich 1983, ISBN 3-406-07374-3 , p. 95.
- Antonio Rocco and the Background of His 'L'Alcibiade fanciullo a Scola' (1652) , Among Men, Among Women, Amsterdam: University, 1983, pp. 224-232.
- Friedrich Engels: The origin of the family, private property and the state . In: Karl Marx / Friedrich Engels - Works . Volume 21, 5th edition. (Karl) Dietz Verlag, Berlin / GDR 1975, pp. 36–84.
- Friedrich Nietzsche: Menschliches, Allzumenschliches. Fifth main piece. Signs of higher and lower culture. 259
- marriage Hetärentum and pederasty in ancient Greece . CH Beck Verlag, Munich 1989, ISBN 3-406-33911-5 , p. 196.
- Cf. Gisela Bleibtreu-Ehrenberg : Mannlichkeitsriten. On institutional pederasty among Papuans and Melanesians. Ullstein, Frankfurt am Main 1980