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Ephebophilia is a strong sexual preference or interest in mid-to-late adolescents. It is one of a number of paraphilias that denote a preference for sexual partners of a certain age, known as chronophilia.
The term ephebophilia was most commonly used in the period stretching from the late 19th century to the mid-20th century. It is derived from the Ancient Greek terms ephebos, meaning “one arrived at puberty,” and philia, meaning "love."
Ephebophiles usually prefer sexual partners aged 15 to 19. While some people may regard ephebophilia as pedophilia, it is different in that whereas pedophilia refers to a sexual preference for prepubescent minors, The people ephobophiles prefer have the physical characteristics of full-grown adults.
Simply finding teenagers attractive does not denote ephebophilia. Similarly, not all people who become sexually involved with teenagers are ephebophiles. However, when people have a pattern of becoming sexually involved with older teens, they are likely to have ephebophilia.
Although in some cultures ephebophilia is acceptable, it is frowned upon in others. Laws of consent also vary from country to country and state to state, so in some cases indulging in one's ephebophilic urges could be illegal.
Counselling may be sought by people who feel ephebophilia is negatively impacting their lives. Without counselling, it’s not uncommon for ephebophiles to feel isolated, angry, and lonely due to their condition. Clinical depression and related coping mechanisms such as alcoholism are also common amongst untreated ephebophiles.