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A girllover is an adult or adolescent who is strongly attracted to girls under the age of consent. "Girllover" is considered analogous to "boylover" in that both label individuals primarily attracted to children or teenagers. Often, individuals wishing to refer to both boylovers and girllovers collectively (or to an individual who is attracted to both boys and girls) will use the ambiguous term "childlover."

Some people, mostly boylovers, believe that this similarity is purely cosmetic and that beyond the coincedence of having a child as the object of one's attraction, the two attractions are qualitatively different. Boylover proponents of this view point to the ability of an adult male to serve as a mentor and role model to a boy, in a sense teaching him "how to be a man," which they claim has no analogue in a girllove relationship. Also, the potential of impregnating a girl adds a dynamic to a sexual relationship which is not present for boylovers. Girllovers may respond that an adult male is equally able to serve as a mentor and role model to a girl and point to the fact that many childlovers find penetrative sex with children objectionable (and some find all sex objectionable for various reasons).

Others, however, point to the identical societal rejection of both attractions and the similar treatment of boylovers and girllovers in the mass media, the legislature and the popular consciousness as an indication that there is more in common between the two groups than there is different.

While the debate about exactly how connected the two sexual preferences and their respective communities actually are is still very much active, there is a general agreement among many of the more important resources (such as Free Spirits and GirlChat) that when it comes to certain issues there is nothing to lose by working together. Thus there has always been a technical cooperation between administrations of various resources on all sides. An excellent example of this cooperation is LifeLine, a crisis-intervention resource that serves both communities.

An example of such cooperation can be cited from the early days of Free Spirits. A well-known GL activist and attorney provided Free Spirits with legal advice and assistance as Free Spirits was being formed and organized. Free Spirits provided him with technical advise with respect to his hosting some of his resources on the Internet.

See also