An actual differentiation between paedophile and ephebophile

This looks like it has been decided properly:

A gay headteacher has won a sex discrimination case against the primary school which sacked him for having sex with two 17-year-olds he met on the dating app Grindr.

Matthew Aplin, 42, who was principal at Tywyn Primary School in Sandfields, West Glamorgan, was openly gay according to a new court ruling. But while police and his local authority bosses decided no criminal offence had been committed the school governors decided to dismiss him.

He challenged their decision but in the end resigned, then claimed he was a victim of constructive dismissal and mounted an employment tribunal claim on the basis he was a victim of “unfair dismissal and sexual orientation discrimination.”

The sexual orientation bit I’m not so sure about. A bird who’d shagged two male teenagers, a bloke who’d shagged two female, they would not have been fired. But he was. Hmm, not sure about that.

But note he was at a primary school. There’s a hell pf a difference between paedophilia and ephebophilia. And as long as there’s no duty of care to those ephebes – which as a primary school head there won’t be, not unless he’d been grooming them for a decade – then this seems the right answer from the court. Even if the reasoning is off.

16 comments on “An actual differentiation between paedophile and ephebophile

  1. Does he even count as an ephebophile? 17 is an adult as far as UK sex law goes. He found them on a gay sex app, not at school.

  2. Labour explicitly lowered the age of consent to 16 to make such sexual activity legal, there being no “closeness in age” restriction in UK law.

    I wonder if he argued in court that the act in question was specifically legalised a couple of parliaments ago, and hence he had been constructively dismissed for an entirely legal act that had no bearing on children under his care. If not, his brief missed a trick.

    Although, on the other hand, there do appear to be a whole load of unwritten rules regarding teachers and sex, and any proclivity regarding attraction to 17 and 18 year olds is deemed a risk…

  3. Ephebophilia is not based upon age specifically, but rather having the aspects of adolescence (from Latin adolescere, meaning ‘to grow up’)

    Adolescence begins with the onset of physiologically normal puberty, and ends when an adult identity and behavior are accepted. This period of development corresponds roughly to the period between the ages of 10 and 19 years, which is consistent with the World Health Organization’s definition of adolescence.

    So, not really coached in the language of legal consent or other such matters a 19 year old might be an adult in all legal forms, but still an adolescent.

    Having said all of that, a 42 year old screwing a 17 year old (gay or not) is a bit “Ew!”.

  4. It was either Bron Waugh (pbuh) or Peter Simple (even more pbuh) who correctly identified that the change in the law came about because there were many aged parliametarians eager to bugger young boys legally and Blair was in their pay.

  5. “Having said all of that, a 42 year old screwing a 17 year old (gay or not) is a bit “Ew!”.”

    I’m sure it is to most 17 year-olds. But once you’re 42, things look different!

  6. I’m sure it is to most 17 year-olds. But once you’re 42, things look different!

    I seem to recall the old rule about “age appropriateness” in relationships being “half the guys age plus seven years”.

    https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Half-age-plus-seven-relationship-rule.svg

    Not saying it’s perfect, but as a rule of thumb it seems okay. Then again, I’m in breech of this myself, given that I’m 51 and my current boy is only 25.

    Then again, I’m not a teacher…

  7. If the police became involved even if there were no charges then there is the issue of public image and trust that comes with the job. Teachers have been sacked over sex scandals before regardless of legality of the sexual act and it is even more important for head teachers as they represent the school. He lost the confidence and respect of the governors so they sacked him, his sexuality and the acts weren’t the issue it was the fact it became a police matter.

  8. Sure BniC, but if the same standard is not applied to both males and females it is sex discrimination. If the same standard is not applied to both straights and gays then it is homophobia (or some such shit).

    This really comes down to the question of whether, regardless of a teachers gender or sexual preference, we believe that those in charge of educating our young should be allowed to have sex with them once they reach the age of consent?

    Society on the whole seems to think that having rules which cover those acting “in loco parentis” (education, social care, etc.) are right and proper. After all, you don’t send your children to school, college, university to be pray for some teacher or college lecturer, did you?

    It used to be that even university professors could be dismissed (or at least “moved on”) for dipping their wick in the student body, but now it seems to have become just another perk of the job.

    But screwing another person above the age of consent over which you have never exercised a position of trust? If that is perfectly acceptable for John Smith (or even John Smith MP), then why should a teacher be any different?

  9. “was openly gay according to a new court ruling.”

    Do you need a court ruling to determine this now?

  10. Worth pointing out the age of consent was also raised by Labour to 18 in cases involving positions of trust – affects sports coaches, college lecturers, sixth form teachers etc. But not really relevant here.

  11. Worth pointing out the age of consent was also raised by Labour to 18 in cases involving positions of trust – affects sports coaches, college lecturers, sixth form teachers etc. But not really relevant here.

    In terms of interpretation of law, certainly not, but that law exists for a specific circumstance and I suppose the inference is “Maybe we should have a wider definition which means that teachers can’t screw ANY under 18’s regardless of the circumstance?” okay, fair enough. But then that gets screwed because you can’t really justify people being criminalized for doing something that every other adult would NOT be criminalized for, because of course you’ve just violated that principle of blind justice “All are equal before the law”.

    Not sure where you go from here, since the aim has to be to prevent the sexual abuse of minors (those under the age of 18 in my book), by adults without criminalizing normal teenage sexual exploitation.

    Then again, that would probably require the application of some fucking common sense…

  12. *without criminalizing normal teenage sexual exploitation*

    Nice Freudian slip there. I meant “without criminalizing normal teenage sexual exploration” (i.e. teens screwing other teens).

  13. I thought the rule was once they were half your age plus seven years they were passed it. Have I been doing it wrong all these years?

  14. Of course none of this rare linguistic precision will stop tiresome rags like the Mail (currently diverting some precious Princess Sparkle space onto stalking a recently-released footballist) from labeling any man who fancies a mature-looking 15 year old a paedo, as if it was exactly like raping newborns.

  15. It occurs to me that ‘two 17 year olds he met on Grindr’ might be an ‘explanation’ of why he was with 2 rent boys……..I’m not that well informed on gay dating, but if a middle aged man was found in the company of two 17yo girls prostitution of some type (maybe more of a sugar daddy type thing than street corner tart one) would be my first bet.

    Regardless of whether that was or was not the case here, what is the collective view if it was? If a teacher was paying for sex, should that be grounds for dismissal, gay or straight?

  16. Regardless of whether that was or was not the case here, what is the collective view if it was? If a teacher was paying for sex, should that be grounds for dismissal, gay or straight?

    But here’s the rub really, isn’t it? For matters which are outside the scope of legal sanction (because they aren’t illegal), what is the scope of social sanction?

    As a society we used to do this sort of thing, so the dodgy 40+ year old bachelors were subject to twitching net curtains and tap room / launderette gossip, suspicions of “being gay” were the pre-1967 version of suspicions of “being a pedo”.

    So why are we no longer able to fire people for “bringing the school / church / company / voluntary association / council” into disrepute? Simply because various panels, employment tribunals and juries over the years have decided that what people do in their private lives behind closed doors are personal matters, providing they are not breaking the law or causing a nuisance to others.

    If Joe Bloggs and Company Limited cannot sack an employee on the basis of who his / her legally consenting bed partners are, then why should a school be able to do so?

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