An adult person who suffers from the condition of Hebephilia has a strong and persistent sexual attraction towards pubescent children, usually between the ages of 11-14 years old.
However, it still differs from pedophilia and ephebophilia (the primary sexual interest towards adolescents), partly because puberty varies between girls and boys, therefore some definitions of chronophilia show overlap.
Researchers and psychiatric reports have suggested and claimed that “hebephilia” is defined by a sexual preference for preadolescent children instead of adult partners.
Origin of the term
The etymology of the term originates from the Greek goddess and protector of the youth, Hebe, but in Ancient Greece the word was also used to refer to males who didn’t reach manhood yet.
The ending of the term -philia divers from the word -phil, meaning love or friendship. The term “hebephilia” was first used in 1955 in one of Hammer and Glueck’s forensic works.
Also, the anthropologist and ethno-psychiatrist Paul K. Benedict distinguished pedophiles from sex offenders in an article by using the term.
Spread of the term
A California psychologist, Karen Franklin, asserted that “hebephilia” is a variety of ephebophilia.
She also said that adults being in a sexual relationship with pubescent is considered distinguishable from other forms of sexual crimes, such as rape.
Also, a research was conducted on sex offenders at the Sing Sing prison in the 1950s managed by Bernard Glueck Jr., using “hebephilia” as one of many assortments of subjects.
- Psychology Today – Hebephilia