The Pederast (magazine article)

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The Pederast is a six-page 1973 magazine article by Parker Rossman which appeared in Society magazine (Volume 10, issue 3 (March/April).

Rossman, over a period of 10 years, became acquainted with and interviewed over 1,000 Boy-Lovers and 300 of their "young friends".

This was a time before widespread pedo-hysteria and before the term "pedophile" became common in American society. "Pedophiles" as a class of men were virtually unknown, but "pederasts" (also mistakenly referred to as "child molesters" by the antis) were, to a certain extent, stigmatized in society and pursued by legal authorities. But this depended on the local authorities--in some places Boy-Lovers could be quite open. Boys, of course, did know about Boy-Lovers, and many boys actively sought out the companionship of Boy-lovers.

Rossman was sympathetic to Boy-Lovers (he, himself, was a Boy-Lover, and had been convicted of having sex with a 16-year-old youth), but he still seemed to somewhat disapprove of the relationships (he had followed in his father's footsteps by becoming a Disciples of Christ [Protestant] Minister, as well as an American Yale Divinity School Professor), which one can sense in his works. But he was usually quite fair in his approach.

He divides Boy-Lovers into five categories, from those (few) who truly abused boys to those (the majority) who established caring--sometimes short-term, sometimes long-term--sexual and nonsexual relationships with boys.

He went on to publish his study in book form, but unfortunately, it is very difficult to locate a copy of the book (Rossman, G P: Sexual Experience Between Men and Boys. New York: Association Press 1976).

One must keep in mind, though, that the "pederasts" he describes are American pederasts; in most other cultures pederasty was perfectly legal, and it was acceptable (when practiced discretely, and one "didn't do it in the street, and frighten the horses" to paraphrase Mrs. Patrick Campbell).

(Campbell was infamous for her sharp wit. Her best-known remark, uttered upon hearing about a male homosexual relationship, was "My dear, I don't care what they do, so long as they don't do it in the street and frighten the horses," although this remark has been attributed to others as well.) Source: Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mrs._Patrick_Campbell

The Rossman article is interesting and informative, and well worth a Boy-Lovers attention. It is hoped that some day the book he wrote can be located and reproduced as well (anyone out there willing and able to scan it? Conversion to .PDF can be done by others...)

What he addresses in the article

His article is divided into the following sections:

  • On Studying The Sexual Underground
  • What Is A Pederast?
  • Five Types of Pederasty
  • Responsible Pederasts
(This is where his bias shows most strongly--he would today be a supporter of Virpeds)
  • Pederast Morality
  • The Consenting Boys
  • Erotic Attraction
(Here he (unfortunately) repeats the (unfounded and proven false) theory of "seduction into homosexuality"--that gay men make boys gay.)

Why boys have sexual relationships with Boy-Lovers

As Rossman explains:

  • The Consenting Boys
What do boys enjoy sexually? While I did get the chance to talk, in limited ways, to the young lovers of some pederasts—and more meaningfully and constructively with older boys and young men who had been such lovers in the past—I could not interview a truly representative sample of children. Most of my data on the attitudes and experience of boys is from interviews with boy prostitutes. In any event, some clear impressions emerge from hearing men and boys describe their experiences.
It was generally agreed that boys respond to men’s overtures, or even seek men out, for four main reasons or combinations of them:
1) some boys are hungry for affection,
2) some mainly want money and gifts (and not always because of poverty),
3) some want adventure, new experiences, kicks other than sexual ones. Some at a rather young age see “playing the queers” as an exciting game to play until they are old enough for girls,
4) mostly, however much they may hide behind other reasons, boys indulge in sexual activity with men because they greatly enjoy being fellated. They are highly aroused by a sexually stimulating culture, and they want sex education and sexual kicks. [boldface added by this Editor]

Where to read the article

It is available to read (or download) online here:

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