sexuality terms

Michael Newman mnewman at QC.EDU
Tue May 7 17:38:12 UTC 2002

Speaking of references to sexual issues, has anyone noticed a shift
in the meaning of pedophile, made evident with the priest sex
scandal? My sense was that 'pedophilia' was a kind of pathology
describing the attraction to children before or perhaps at puberty. A
pedophile was then someone with a pathological or at least
problematic sexual orientation. However, now in news reports it seems
to refer to those who have had sex with someone younger than the age
of consent, who might be as old as 17 in some US states, since most
though not all the priests involved have apparently gotten involved
with teens.
Michael Newman
Assistant Professor of Linguistics
Department of Linguistics and Communication Disorders
Queens College
Flushing, NY 11367

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