In attempt to make a non-controversial post, this is the most tame topic I could think of I really do enjoy shaking the table don’t I.
Something I’m sure I’m not the only one who has noticed is the incredibly large amount of stories available on the app that promote ephebophilia culture.
What the heck is Ephebophilia?
Ephebophilia is the sexual interest in mid-to-late adolescents (ages 15 to 19).
Woah. Woah. I know that’s a big bad word but hear me out.
I know technically an older person having relations with someone at the age of 18 is not illegal. But, in my opinion just because something is valid under the eyes of the law, doesn’t make it okay. This is not a debate on morality because I know it is all relative, and that would require a lot of mental energy, that I do not have, currently having dreadful flashbacks of attending ethics classes.
I’m not going call out or shame any authors directly, but I think we all know what story I’m talking about.Yes I’m abusing this feature, leave me alone. You all know, the one that has been read almost 50 million times, that features an 18 year old having relations with a grown man, ya that one.
Let’s not forget the power dynamics that are at play. It’s almost always the case that the love interest has authority over the main character. And while there may not be any signs of abuse evident in these stories, subconsciously this is conditioning young readers to think it is okay to enter a relationship with an authoritative figure while you remain powerless – especially a teacher.
I am really trying to understand. When I was younger, never was I ever taught from anywhere be it school, friends, family, books, television, that this is okay. I thankfully didn’t grow up in an environment that glorifies adult-teen relationships. Now, of course there are psychological explanations for this; childhood trauma being one of the many. But I do feel as it has surpassed this level and we have created a society that praises this harmful cliche.
We all know why the authors make stories like this, there’s really no need to go into that.
But what do you think makes stories like these so appealing to younger audiences? Does it stem from what kind of media younger teenagers are exposed to now? Or is it cultural? At what point did we normalize such relationships to readers who are at such an impressionable age?