Hebephilia is when adults are mostly or only sexually attracted to people from early puberty until their mid-teenage years (generally between 11 and 14 years). Adults with this attraction are called "hebephiles" or "hebophiles." The word hebephilia comes from Greek: Hebe is the Greek goddess of youth, and philia means love. These days, many media reports cover hebephilic acts between female teachers and young students.
Hebephilia is not a disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. It was a hotly contested debate when the recent edition was created. Some research suggests that hebephilia can be distinguished and diagnosed, and that it occurs more frequently than pedophilia. But many experts argue that the concept lacks valid data, that it counters evolutionary biology, and that the diagnosis would offer a legal loophole to perpetrators sex of crimes.
- Hebephilia as Mental Disorder? A Historical, Cross-Cultural, Sociological, CrossSpecies, Non-Clinical Empirical, and Evolutionary Review - Bruce Rind, Richard Yuill (2012) See "Introduction" section
- Danni, Kristin A., and Gary D. Hampe. "An analysis of predictors of child sex offender types using presentence investigation reports." International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology 44.4 (2000): 490-504
- SK Wurtele - Children and Youth Services Review, 2012 , Preventing the sexual exploitation of minors in youth-serving organizations