A child may be defined as someone who is either below the age of majority/age of consent (minor) or a prepubescent. Familial usage (regardless of age) is not an issue of relevance to intergenerational sex.
Childhood and by extension, the status of human beings as children, is an unstable concept. It has been suggested by some historians such as Aries that the concept of childhood is itself an invention of the second millennium (2000–). In that view, there is an uninterrupted gradual evolution from birth to adulthood, the only biological indicator being the first ejaculation around 13, celebrated by Jews with the zBarMitzvah (Aramaic for “son of Mitzvas, of thr law”) and a later bat-Mitzvah for girls at age 12.
Central to the issue of intergenerational sexuality is the concept of childhood (sexual) innocence and its postpuritanical/utilitarian counterpart, vulnerability.
- The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy has a good article on childhood:
- "Child" (Web archive) (Original Newgon Wiki Article)