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Age-appropriate.

I was upset to see that Christie Ayotte, in her article "Thanks a Lot, Foley" [November 7], made no distinction between pedophilia and ephebophilia and that you apparently did not try to correct her. Strictly speaking, a pedophile has "recurrent, intense sexual urges or sexually arousing fantasies of engaging in sexual activity with a prepubertal child" (Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary, 28th ed.). Mark Foley is therefore not a pedophile but an ephebophile, or one who is similarly interested in adolescents. This does not make him any less culpable, but it puts the onus in the correct camp. The distinction was repeatedly made by doctors during the height of the priest scandal, but evidently, the media weren't listening, as this misattribution persists. However, I would have thought that the gay media would be hyperaware of it and insist on making it.

T. ROGERS New York, N.Y.

Congressman Mark Foley is living proof that those who live in the closet die in the closet. But rather than add to the blame game and the vitriol, I want to suggest a fundamental solution to the Foley page scandal: Quit hiring minors as pages!

Hire 18- to 22-year-old college undergraduates. Upon their 22nd birthday, or upon earning their bachelor's degree, their page position expires, whichever happens first. They get a great learning experience, a college education, and will be old enough to deal with their employers and coworkers as adults. So much for future scandals.

STEVEN L. KENDALL Seattle, Wash.
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Author:Kendall, Steven L.
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Dec 5, 2006
Words:247
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