I am in no way shape or form a defender of Foley's. He's a sleazeball as far as I'm concerned. But the word pedophilia is being thrown around awfully promiscuously if you ask me. I know that asking people to use the word "ephebophilia" is a bit too much, but these pages weren't, strictly speaking, children. These kids were older than the legal age of consent to marry in most states — does that mean these states are carrying laws on the books countenancing child brides and, by extension, pedophilia?I pretty much agree. I think it's appropriate to have laws that criminalize sex with minors, and what Foley did should be investigated within the same prism of criminal law. But, if only for the sake of accuracy, the term "pedophilia" doesn't quite seem to fit here. Most definitions of pedophilia refer to sexual interest in prepubescent or peripubescent children.
The Foley scandal may shock people in middle America, but it doesn't shock me. Lest we forget, popular culture in America has done more than its share to sexualize minors.
How many adult men were salivating at TV or print ads of a 15-year-old Brooke Shields wearing Calvin Klein jeans? And that was 26 years ago. Even though Hustler's "Barely Legal" magazine has the standard disclaimer about how all of its models are at least 18, the very title tells you there's a market of adults who at least fantasize sexually about minors or almost-minors.