The first pedophile

Is this a fantasy of a pedophile or does it make sense?

The idea in this post came like a stroke last christmas. Pedophilia is a destiny which is a heavy burden to carry. It does not make sense to be attracted to children nowadays. It does not make sense according to contemporary standards, but did it make sense 5000 years ago? Delving into internet i discovered the following.

Pedophilia is not a recent phenomenon, Michael Jackson was not the first one to have eyes for boys in the magic years between being a little boy and becoming a man. Leonardo da Vinci had eyes for his Salai, and he too was not the first. The greeks didn't invent pederasty, it had already conquered the world. The Japanese had the love for boys, apparently for over thousand years. This love for boys can be found in cultures all over the world. If a behavioral trait has spread throughout the world, it is believed to be more than 50.000 years old. Ergo: let's go back in time, much back in fact.

The Descent of Chester

The story of the descent of Chester is a humorous explanation why evolution allowed the existence of pedophiles and how pedophiles survived natural selection. Even though written as an satirical essay it contains several ideas on the survival of genes. Sometimes laymen interpret evolution quite narrow, when giving birth to children is already counted as success. Chester in this story makes sure that related children survive. This worker bee hypothesis has also been used to explain the acceptance of Fa'afafine. Another support for this hypothesis is the fact that mothers of homosexual children tend to give birth to more children. These explanations center around the value of nutrition for survival.

However, the same can be applied to all animals, hence we should find homosexuality and pedophilia to the same extend in the animal kingdom. Homosexual behavior can be observed, even sexual interaction with immature youth is common, but not in the same manner as in humans. Homosexual behavior is observed in the absence of females or in captivity. Researchers have tried to instill homosexuality as a preference for males in rats and have failed. Sexual behavior with immature youth is found in species that are not at all discriminatory in sexual partner selection, but a preference for immature partners is not evident.

What happened to homo habilis & Co?

There are some peculiarities in the human evolution. Humans share a last common ancestor with chimpanzees and bonobos. From comparison with them, we can infer that certain events happened during the human evolution. Artifacts like skeletons provide hints where to place them on the timeline. From those artifacts we know that the human brain increased in size twice during the evolution.

The first increase happened with homo erectus 1.8 million years ago , who had to counter environmental changes. In mobbing is human heritage i tried to explain what happened to them. Homo ergaster most likely self-domesticated himself, leading to groups that were more successful at fighting off predatory animals. Analysis of his skull shows more neotenous features than the chimpanzee skull. The famous russian silver fox experiment also lead to neotenous features as a result of a selection based on behavior. If homo ergaster became neotenous, then the reason could have been a self-domestication process, which we know has happened in the human past.

Hypothesis about human evolution

It is impossible to prove anything about the behavior of human ancestors, since no documentation ever existed or survived the tooth of time. Artifacts can only be found where the conditions were right for conservation. Human tissue or tools made out of wood and similar did not survive. Due to that most commonly acknowledged theories are based on simple assumptions and correlations with other events. The principle of Occam's razor is used to select some hypothesis as more likely.

Fortunately, there are some facts, which we know to be true. First of all, humans became intelligent and are able to use complicated tools. Second, we master a huge volume of knowledge. Finally, homo sapiens evolved into the shape of modern humans. The latter implies the neotenous character.

Neoteny - the retention of juvenile features

The picture to left shows a young immature chimpanzee. The contrast to adult chimpanzees is quite markant. Actually adult humans resemble chimpanzee babies much more than mature chimpanzees, which is denoted as physical neoteny. Neoteny itselfs denotes the retention of juvenile characteristics

How does neoteny appear? There is little to be found about it, but it seems to be related to a slower maturation speed. There exists a mammal model that predicts when certain developmental events are supposed to happen. Compared to that model, humans are maturing at a slower speed, between 5 and 15 times slower. According to that humans never done with growing up. Even in the ninth decade, some skull bone fusion processes are still at work.

Not only does a human mature at a slower speed than the mammal model predicts, but different parts mature at different speeds. The brain maturation is one of the slower processes. Several human peculiarities are due to that. Human instincts are dwindling and weak, interfering less with a rational behavior than in animals. However, some instincts are necessary and an insufficient instinct has undesirable outcomes. And again, the russian silver fox experiment did some interesting observations. Some neotenous foxes neglected their offspring.

The second brain size increase

The second brain size increase happened presumably during the Lower Palaeolithic era (800 000 years ago) leading to homo heidelbergensis. The placement of either on the timeline is somewhat uncertain, but the correlation makes sense. Homo habilis already had the ability to carry tools around unlike tool using animals. The usual sequence in animals is that they are first confronted with a problem and then start using tools. Not only are they using available items, but it has been observed that they modify items to fit for the purpose. Sticks are selected and sometimes modified for retrieval or for foraging. After the animals got what they wanted they usually discard the used tool. Since stone tools have been found together with skeletons, we know that they have been carried around even when there was no usage during the transport.

If there had been a "wood age" before the stone age, then we wouldn't know about it. It is possible that our ancestors had been using wooden tools before stone tools. In this case, the second brain increase could have happened earlier.

Tool making requires understanding and the ability to learn. I have seen a BBC documentary where a professor specialized in anthropology showed the presenter how to cut a stone for making a stone axe. The presenter surely had attended school and knew a lot about physics. The professor also told the presenter how to do certain steps, both spoke english and were quite intelligent. Even with those favorable abilities it took about half an hour to get the lesson across. Prof. Brian Cox tried it once to cut a stone without any instructions and gave up. He needed advice from some expert. Knifes and longer cutting tools require careful craftsmanship, where several flakes have to be cut off. This requires remarkable skills, not easy to teach even today.

In order to simulate ancient conditions we need to modify the situation drastically. First of all, no physics knowledge is allowed. Language was not yet invented. There were no books and no schools. And we have to reduce the intelligence level in both participants. Instead of a professor teaching an intelligent presenter we should consider a 5 year old teaching a 2 year old how to do that. The time needed to get the lesson across would be much larger and requiring the student to spent considerable amount of time with the teacher.

In the animal kingdom the youths learn from their parents. The sex of the offspring does not matter since all animals have to hunt, assuming no division of labour. If there is a sexual division of labour, then it is mostly instinctive behavior not requiring much learning. The situation is different with humans. First of all do humans give birth to fewer offspring. Moreover, some have only daughters while others only have sons. So, what is the best strategy to transfer knowledge to the next generation?

The kid could learn from the same sex parent. Any imbalance of the sex will lead to a loss of knowledge in that case. If kids leave the parental care and look for a same-sex teacher in the tribe, then the sex balance is almost equal. Moreover, if kids learn from several teachers, knowledge gets distributed. From a game theoretical point of view, kids learning from unrelated same-sex members of the band have an advantage. Since knowledge means a higher survival rate, a band where knowledge is transferred to unrelated children gives a higher chance to their genes.

The first pedophile

There are DSM/ICD definitions of pedophilia and hebephilia. The border between those two lies at puberty, which ignores the basic fact that most boylovers are attracted to boys at that border. Boylovers often ask themselves, whether they are pedophiles or not. Compared with ancient times puberty nowadays has an earlier onset. I sometimes wonder when ancient greek boys went through puberty. It seems like they were much older than contemporary boys in puberty. This would change the definition of ancient pederasty. In the following i do not differentiate due to that reason. Moreover, i don't assume a sexual preference for children in the following.

The transfer of knowledge like the making of stone tools requires a teacher - someone who spends a considerable amount of time with the student. Nowadays teachers are paid and teaching became a profession. This was not the case in the lower palaeolithic era. Everybody had to teach the craftsmanship one possessed unlike today, where some specialized teachers teach the profession of others.

Rind&Yuill in 2012 showed that hebephilic interest is an evolved capacity, and pointed out some commonalities in cross cultural studies. T. Vanggaard wrote in Phallós about semen culture and masculinity. The mature-immature homosexual relationships were an institution to transfer manhood from adults to boys.  Only in such relationship a boy would become a man and in ancient time it was seen as a stigma not to become an erômenos. This has changed with Plato. Before Plato, the institution of pederasty was ritualized and served a well known purpose. After Plato, the sexual gratification got condemned and the former purpose lost. Moreover, the condemnation requires that the manhood building aspect has to be ignored.

How did the teacher-student or master-apprentice relationship came together in lower palaeolithic times? It seems likely that those relationships were formed spontaneously. They were just spending more and more time together without realizing the nature of their relationship. Boylovers jokingly claim that sexy boys are the cause of pedophilia. This is not far from the truth. A dedicated teacher is more efficient than an indifferent one. Hence, students that catch the interest of the teacher got a more enthusiastic education. If a red nose were enough to cause such an interest, we all would be running around with red noses. What characteristics could probably have been preferred?

If we compare chimpanzees with humans, there is a long list of differences. Humans have eyes that are white around the iris. That makes it easy to guess what the other is looking at. Is the student banging 2 stones together to imitate the noise or actually aiming at a fault line? It is certainly easier to teach someone whose mind is easier to read. This too is supported by a hairless face. Humans faces are able to express emotions due to the amount of facial muscle, by the way the only muscles in the human body attached to skin.

Lautmann in "Lust am Kinde" notes that boylovers admire the boy's personality while girllovers admire beauty. Of course, personality is not everything, the boys body is admired too. The statues of the ancient greeks idolized the young man's body. It is likely that a combination of physical and behavioral attributes attracted the teacher. And as always, there will be a competition for attention. This can be seen in any group of children. Boys will compete with each other for the sole attention of a popular group leader, while group leaders will compete in attracting the most desired child.

A child attracting a teacher has to show its abilities. It might be a bit far fetched, but entertaining adults is a perfect opportunity to show intelligence, the ability to learn and present oneself. This is quite similar to courtship behavior between mates.

Natural selection in humans

Evolution works in many ways. Sexual selection is a narrow interpretation, where the choice of a mate decides over the survival of genes. The only thing that counts is the survival of genes. In the simplest case, the survival of the individual until reproduction is sufficient (see fishes). Care of genetically related family members is related to kin selection. However, if one supports distant or not-related family members based on the existence of certain pleasant traits, then those traits will be selected for.

It has been argued that the human brain is a result of sexual selection, where women and men have used their display of intelligence in courtship. So where are the nerds with models as girl friends? It is kind of obvious that this explanation is flawed. Hence, the question is who has selected somebody else for his/her brains? Moreover, it is not necessary for the selecting individual to pass his genes on - that is only required for the one with the brain.

The common explanation how women select brainier men is based on the men's results during hunts. A common mistake is to ascribe a certain development to one and only one cause. That women preferred men who contributed more to society does not preclude other causes. It is not like women evaluated men, but men evaluated each other and build their mutual social status based on that assessment. It is common knowledge that women tend to prefer men of higher social standing. Hence, if men elevated certain boys into the ranks of manhood, then women would prefer those. The rituals of manhood in native cultures marked youths as to be eligible. Women were taught that only men with the right markings are suitable as mates. This is a case where the selection process is carried out within one sex, but has an effect on the passing of genes.

In my humble opinion the mature-immature relationships had a beneficial effect. Not only did the existence count for the transfer of knowledge, but also the length of the apprenticeship had an effect. Child mortality had been high and survival depended on the income of the father. A longer apprenticeship meant higher education and probably a higher social status and with it a higher survival rate of children. This type of relationship usually ended when the younger part became too old and was supposed to move on. When did the younger partner became too old? Presumably when the secondary sexual characteristics became visible. Another reason for this close relationship to end is the fact that a mature same sex partner represents sexual competition. Exclusive pedophilia seemed to have been quite rare. Often the men in those relationships were married or moved on to marry a woman after breakup.

One evidence pointing in that direction is the fact that onset of puberty in boys is later than in girls. Moreover, the onset of puberty is earlier today than some hundred years ago. The decline started about the same time when public schools were introduced and the apprenticeship system was replaced by more institutionalized education systems like university or unskilled labour in factories. Following that explanation, the current decline is not caused by some environmental conditions, but is the normal return to the state without an evolutionary pressure. The survival rate of offspring no longer depends on the length of the apprenticeship with a mentor. The evolutionary pressure also disappeared due to the reduced child mortality.

In this post i focus on the man-boy relationship, but one might argue that the same must be valid for woman-girl relationships in the past. But there are some major differences. It's not without reason that men are from mars while women descent from venus. First, women are child bearing and therefore considered to be too precious to be subjected to danger. The sexual division of labour might have placed a heavy burden on women, but quick decisions were only required from men. Usually women and children are protected by men who have to defend the village. This can also be noticed today. Women are comfortable in positions where few final decisions are made. Typical women areas are places where decision can be overthrown or remade, or when it is possible to base decision on a time consuming consent building process. Boys have to be teached to make the right decision the first time, while girls are imitating women and have the opportunity to adjust their decisions. Hence, the evolutionary pressure was heavier on boys than on girls. That girls mature later than the mammal model predicts can be due to the little pressure put on them and/or due to the genetical linkage between females and males.

Natural selection works in many ways. In ancient Greece stigma was attached to those who didn't got an erômenos. Hence, it was not only men selecting boys and therefore deciding which boy genes moved on, but also boys deciding over the social standing of young men. Every master of a craftsmanship was required to have apprentices.  The failure to attract candidates was a professional failure and lead to exclusion from the profession and loss of income. Therefore one can assume a co-evolution: boys getting attractive to men, and men becoming accommodating to the needs of boys. The former denotes the eagerness and willingness to learn while the latter means caretaking, teaching and mentoring in all aspects of life.
Q: Why don't humans have a baculum?
A: Because pedophiles are a pain in the ass.  

Modern reminiscents

Even today, children are fanatic about superheros and heros. The majority of boys idolizes football players. Variants of football can be found in native cultures, where an object is kicked around, intercepted and driven towards a goal. Sometimes the ball is decorated with feathers or skin. Young boys are eager to participate in games with older boys. Not only that, but emotions are set into high gear. Imagine now that boys were free to roam society without being bound to their families.

Men shave their beards, while women apply makeup. The result in both cases is that the person looks younger. Why is that? It is an unconscious signal to others that we are willing to accommodate them. We signal that we are agreeable and desire an honest conversation. The opposite in men are those with long beards. In many cultures long beards are reserved for scholarly persons, who can dispense knowledge. The opposite appearance signals an openness to acquire knowledge or listening skills necessary for agreements. Salesmen tend to be shaved for that reason.

Sometimes, one can read that this behavior is paedomorphic and has something to do with the Kindchenschema - the one which is supposed to elicit help. Some even reason that this kind of behavior might have turned some into pedophiles - which is utterly nonsense. The kindchenschema does not elicit help, but lowers aggression thresholds. The absence of a beard makes also hiding of emotions more difficult. Hence, a shaved man appears to be more honest and more trustworthy if the social standing is unknown.


Same-sex pedophilic behavior has been with us for 800,000 years, the time when the last brain size increase happened. It is probably related to the transfer of knowledge and masculinity to the next generation, which is the main theme of the ancient greek pederasty and semen-culture reported in cross-cultural studies.

If this were true, all men should feel some erotic attraction towards boys, since it has been a necessity for the transfer of knowledge in the past. Current behavior like men shaving beards, and the particularities with the onset of puberty in girls and boys nowadays and in the past, indicates this to be true. 

Moreover, boylovers should not be ashamed of their attraction towards boys. It it nothing abnormal, but part of the essence of humanity. The idolization of youth was common in ancient Greece and there is a heavy weighting reason for that.


    This is amateur peodphilia research, which means there is no study to back up the claims. This post presents a hypothesis with the attempt to explain pedophilia related phenomena.


    1. Interesting post

    2. The male preference for youth is a consquence of our mating system involving long term relationships: younger females have more fertile years ahead of them and are capable of giving a man for offspring over the long term. So if we wnat to work out when paedophilic preferences evolved in our species we need to pin point when we started using a long term mating system.

      When could this be?

      It's anybody's guess, really. Anywhere from the emergence of modern humans 200,000 years ago back to our ape ancestors over 2 million years ago.

    3. https://plus.google.com/communities/108431293520553382985
      It would be nice if you would join this community. We are looking for speakers for the pedophilia community.