Historically, pederasty has existed as a variety of customs and practices within different cultures. The status of pederasty has changed over the course of history, at times considered an ideal and at other times a crime. In the history of Europe, its most structured cultural manifestation was Athenian pederasty, and became most prominent in the 6th century BC. Greek pederasty's various forms were the subject of philosophic debates in which the carnal type was unfavorably compared with erotic yet spiritual and moderate forms.
The legal status of pederasty in most countries is currently determined by whether or not the boy has reached the local age of consent. Illegal forms of pederasty for the purposes of law enforcement fall under sexual child abuse.
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