Pederasty or paederasty (US /ˈpɛdəræsti/ or UK /ˈpiːdəræsti/) is a (usually erotic) homosexual relationship between an adult male and a pubescent or adolescent male. The word pederasty derives from Greek (paiderastia) ""love of boys"", a compound derived from παῖς (pais) ""child, boy"" and ἐραστής (erastēs) ""lover"". In French, however, ""pédérastie"" has been used as a synonym for homosexuality between adult males (see Histoire du mot pédérastie).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 purely carnal type was unfavorably compared with erotic friendships and moderate forms, known as Sophrosyne.The legal status of pederasty in most countries is determined by whether or not the boy has reached the local age of consent, and as to whether such contact is considered abusive to the child.