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Opposition to the carnal aspects of pederasty existed concurrently with the practice, both inside and outside of the cultures in which it was found.
Among the Greeks, a few cities prohibited it, and in others, such as Sparta, only the chaste form of pederasty was permitted, according to Xenophon Judaism and Christianity also condemned sodomy (while defining that term variously), a theme that would be promulgated by Islam and, later still, by the Baha'i Faith.
One loved Hylas, another Hyacinthus, another Pelops, another Chrysippus, another Ganymedes. " Early legal codes prescribed harsh penalties for violators.
Historically, pederasty has existed as a variety of customs and practices within different cultures.The OED offers: "Homosexual relations between a man and a boy; homosexual anal intercourse, usually with a boy or younger man as the passive partner." Academic and social studies sources propose more expansive definitions of the term.The Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender & Queer Culture defines the term as: "The erotic relationship between an adult male and a youth, generally one between the ages of twelve and seventeen, in which the older partner is attracted to the younger one who returns his affection." The Encyclopedia of Homosexuality suggests "Pederasty is the erotic relationship between an adult male and a boy, generally one between the ages of twelve and seventeen, in which the older partner is attracted to the younger one who returns his affection, whether or not the liaison leads to overt sexual contact." In Athens, the slaves were expressly forbidden from entering into pederastic relations with the free-born boys. Attic red-figure crater, 500–490 BC; Painter of Berlin; Louvre, Paris.He adds that in many societies, pederasty has been the main subject of the arts and the main source of tender and elevated emotions. Its practice dates from the Archaic period onwards in Ancient Greece, but Cretan ritual objects that reflect an already-formalised practice date to the late Minoan civilization, in around 1650 BC.in Ancient Greece, pederasty was a relationship and bond, whether sexual or chaste, between an adolescent boy and an adult man outside of his immediate family.
Beside its use in the classical sense, the term has also been used as a synonym for anal sex, irrespective of the nature of the partner.