Attraction can take many forms. How people act – or otherwise deal with – their sexual feelings and desires varies a lot. Erotic bonds can be the glue that starts and sustains the most important relationships in a person’s life. Sexual impulses can also be unruly, motivating hurtful acts and crimes, from stalking to rape to child abuse.
Today in the West, sexual diversity is widely acknowledged and discussed. But one area is strongly taboo – erotic attraction of adults (over 18) to persons younger. Are such desires rare or common? Are they always exploitative or harmful? How do males and females differ when it comes to such feelings?
With attraction to minors a highly charged issue today, the first impulse is now to condemn and punish those who cross the line. Where should the lines be drawn? What evidence matters when it comes to crafting laws and policies that are effective and just?