A CONTINUUM OF PEDERASTIC BEHAVIOR TYPES BY PARKER ROSSMAN
The following is one of the sections of the first chapter of Dr. Parker Rossman’s Sexual Experience Between Men and Boys (originally published in 1976), entitled "Dimensions of a Complex Problem", introduced here. His intention in this chapter was to give an unavoidably simplified but general idea of the different types of pederast and their prevalence. Actually, however, his evidence was mostly limited to what was then recent in countries with a Christian tradition.
A Continuum of Behavior Types
Picture a continuum: a thousand males arranged on a scale, with the more passive and feminine types to the far left and the more aggressively masculine to the far right. Each person’s experience is so unique that it is almost impossible to group them into categories. In order to talk about “types” we simply draw arbitrary lines at certain points along the scale, neglecting the continuing movement back and forth - and perhaps up and down into other varied dimensions of experience as well. For at any point on the scale there is a wide variety of behavior, inclination, experience, motivation, and so on. Nevertheless, in order to get handles for discussing pederasts, we categorize them by style, drawing lines across the continuum at these points:
Romantic man-boy games
Cutting across such styles of man-boy sex play are both negative and positive experiences: emotional moods of affection, adventure and excitement, and of erotic pleasure; along with experiences of guilt, anxiety, and jealousy. The process of definition of pederasty will move forward as subsequent chapters explore the underground and the ladders of experience by which particular pederasts descended there. Here, however, we categorize to provide some maps and models in order that the underground may be entered with enough information to make possible some understanding on our part of what to look for when there.
- First, it is important to note that when males involved in homosexual play are arranged from left to right on such a continuum, one finds most of them at the center engaging in the kind of sex play which society is likely to consider most normal, i.e., teasing, joke telling, “fooling around in the shower.” It is confusing to refer to this common horseplay as homosexual, even though such playful sex experience is often a first step into deviant activity. This “normal” play at the center of the continuum may not be healthy if in its adolescent forms it continues into adulthood. However, the interpretation given to this horseplay experience appears to be crucial for determining how it will develop. The reader may well search the data of this study for clues in vain - for it is not yet clear why the same sort of adolescent sex play seems to lead some boys into gay-homosexuality, others into pederasty, and most of the rest into normal heterosexuality. Many gay homosexuals and pederasts share the conviction, on the basis of their personal experience, that it was all determined before age 5. Many pederasts were, by that age, already conscious of the sort of infatuation for adolescent boys which has since plagued them all their lives.
- Second, moving to the left on the scale, the cases become more gay homosexual. This study neglects the left side of the continuum, for our concern is not with the type of homosexual person who is erotically attracted only to adults of his or her own sex. A majority of pederasts interviewed are either bisexual or are otherwise heterosexual for much of their lives and in most of their sexual experience. An examination of their experience suggests that pederasty is probably both a form of repression and a result of sexual repression. It may be that when the normal homosexual horseplay at the center of our scale is repressed or driven into the unconscious by punishment or anxiety, there tends to be a movement either to the left or right on the scale - perhaps as a result of the way the behavior is interpreted. If his experience or its interpretation pushes him to the left, the adolescent boy may play some romantic game, role-playing a love affair with another boy or a man, perhaps only in imagination. If he is teased, scorned, humiliated, or otherwise develops anxiety over this, he may overreact with an emotional commitment to, and confirmation of, a gay-homosexual life-style. The “chicken queen,” or gay-homosexual who devotes his life to adolescents of his own sex, is thus on the left.
- Third, if the adolescent boy’s experience or its interpretation pushes him to the right on the continuum, he tends to become one of the more masculine types of pederast. It is more correct to say that he is led into his own peculiar combination of these types of playful sex, athletic horseplay, and/or psychic games. When repressed or wrongly handled, this behavior tends to become increasingly perverse, sadist, violent, neurotic, and/or exploitive.