The term childlover is used in two senses:
- as a label for people attracted to both boys and girls, and
- as a generic term for someone who may be attracted to either boys or girls.
The latter use of this term is controversial in the boylover and girllover communities.
Some advocate the use of the childlover label to bring the boylover and girllover communities together. They believe that the communities have much to gain by joining forces rather than arguing their separate causes each on their own. They also believe that there are many similarities in girllove and boylove relationships, especially the fact that both types of relationship involve an adult and a minor, often a child.
Others object to the childlove label, but the reasons are manifold. Many boylovers reject it because they believe that boylovers and girllovers have conflicting political interests. Some claim the types of relationships with children differ; that while boylovers are interested in mentorship and friendship, girllovers are more oriented toward romance. Lastly, teen boy lovers reject the term because the boys they are attracted to are no longer "children." The term therefore is seen to act as a divisive element within the boylover communities, thus putting the term at odds with its goal of unification.
The issue is nowhere near resolution in either community, and the debate arouses strong feelings whenever it is raised, including on BoyWiki. (2015)
The term "Youthlover" has been proposed as a label which includes love of both child and teen people. Some also prefer this term because it does not use the term "minor", which is seen by them as degrading of youth. As of May, 2021, the term "youthlover" is commonly used on boychat.
'Childlover' in other languages
- Quenya: hínandil
- Sindarin: chínandil