Having done the research for this topic, and thereby getting myself put on just about every government watch list, I was shocked to find that I wasn’t entirely against the practice of Pederasty. I, like most of you, instantly thought Pederasty was all about pedophilia and perverts taking advantage of prepubescent children. Imagine my surprise when I did some more research and found that, as far as the Greeks and Romans were concerned, that just wasn’t the case.
Before I go any farther, I want to make something abundantly clear, I am going to say that I think Pederasty has the potential to be a beneficial institution, and in fact once WAS a beneficial institution. When I say that though, I’m not implying that it’s something that should be, or could be, accepted or practiced openly and without prejudice today. Basically, i’m slapping a big fat disclaimer on this one, I’m just giving my opinion, don’t read into it.
Apparently in ancient societies around the world pederastic relationships were common place. Ancient Greece and Rome are probably the most well known examples of this. For instance within the Athenian society, and most societies that accepted Pederasty as nothing out of the ordinary, there would be specific protocol, specific laws that were set up solely for the protection of the boys.
Commercial pederasty involving free boys was also forbidden. The relative who lent out a ward for illicit intercourse was punished. Boys who sold their favors (hetaireesis) risked losing most of their rights as citizens once come to adulthood. One surviving piece of Greek oratory documents a legal case, Against Timarchos, in which Aeschines pleads to enforce precisely that law against his opponent. Hubris (rape) was against the law not only in the case of free boys, but even with slaves.
In order to prevent teachers from taking advantage of their charges, a law was passed forbidding them from opening their schools before dawn or staying open past sunset. Likewise, there was a law threatening with death any man under forty who trespassed onto school grounds.
Within these kinds of relationships the boy’s had all the real power, it was always up to the boy to choose what they were comfortable with and if they wanted to stop the relationship, they could. I honestly think that’s fantastic for several reasons; 1. The young boy is in complete controle, 2. These relationships, when the boy came of age, would change into a life long friendship, 3. These relationships were not based solely on sex, they were however based on the enrichment of the young boy. I’m personally of the mind that maturity is more important than age, but thats just me.
I could write for hours about this topic because I really do find it fascinating, that being said, I understand where some people might have issues with these kinds of relationships. That was my knee jerk reaction as well, I automatically thought I was going to be against this whole thing, then I read about it and realized, maybe it’s not all that bad…if done properly.
Also, I am NOT a pedophile. We’ll no doubt have a topic dealing with that someday.