Pederasty or paederasty refers to an erotic relationship, sexually expressed or not, between an adolescent boy and an adult male outside his immediate family. Pederasty has existed from earliest times through a variety of customs and practices within different cultures. Though Pederasty has been criminalized at various times in history, today its legal status in most countries is determined by whether or not the boy has reached the local age of consent.
In the history of Europe, its most structured cultural manifestation was Athenian pederasty, reaching its zenith in the 5th 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.