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Intergenerational Lesbianism, sometimes called Korephilia is an age-structured relationship (similar to pederasty), but between a woman and a girl. Many women experience romance as a maternal feeling, and often express that love through nurturing and caring for the loved girl. From the outside looking in, you might just see them as a mother and daughter. But the maternal bond they share triggers romantic feelings in them. The woman is often romantically fulfilled by doing things (mundane, or sexually) for the pleasure and benefit of the loved girl.
There have been recent depictions of Intergenerational Lesbianism in popular culture. "The Little Coochie Snorcher That Could" from "The Vagina Monologues," recounts the experience of a thirteen year old girl's relationship with an older woman. The 2013 film Blue Is the Warmest Colour, depicts the friendship between a 15 year old girl and an adult woman that becomes erotic.
The word korephilia comes from the Greek words κόρη kórē meaning "girl" and φιλία philíā meaning "love". Most people use korephilia to describe a woman/girl relationship, while others use it to describe an adult/girl relationship.
In previous literature, writers such as feminist activist Kate Millett interpreted aversion to intergenerational eroticism as a product of women being subjects of historical patriarchy. Millett contrasted the more prevalent discussion and even defense of mutually willing intergenerational eroticism within the male-gay movement (see LGBT-MAP Unity), with the aversion many women and lesbians espoused. Millett wrote that women are "more sexually repressed than men, having been given a much more puritanical code of behavior than men ever have". Unlike men who had the history of pederasty to draw on, "It’s possible," Millett explained, "that the condition of lesbians has been so repressive that it prevents them from seeing people below the age of consent as sexual partners" (Ibid).
German Psychologist Marina Knopf (1994, cited below) attempted to solicit interviews from females who had experienced intergenerational lesbianism. Knopf received letters but all respondents except one refused to be interviewed. Nevertheless, on the basis of her research, Knopf argued that the age taboo, or what she terms the "paedosexual taboo" might be "felt so strongly by women precisely because the opportunities for breaking it lie so close at hand. Because of their special closeness [to young people], for women the paedosexual attraction, as well as the taboo, could be greater than for men" (p. 19). Although Knopf detected a greater sense of guilt and fear of arrest among females than men erotically engaged with youth, the fact that a female intergenerational rights organization in existed in Berlin ("Kanalratten" meaning "Sewer Rats"), had published a manifesto, but were too inhibited to meet Knopf after agreeing to be interviewed by her, suggests that intergenerational lesbianism has been far more underground and secretive than its male homosexual counterpart.
This does not mean no examples exist: we have documented many in our testimonials page. However, intergenerational lesbianism appears to have been and remain a difficult to research, largely undocumented activity: a lively subculture which we hope more investigations by scholars like Amanda H. Littauer (cited below) will discover. As pioneer queer activist, Pat [now Patrick] Califia, wrote:
"I know very few lesbians, and even fewer gay men, who waited until they were eighteen to come out. Most of us were aware well before puberty that we wanted to be close to or sexual with members of our own sex. I've heard countless stories from women about their attempts to seduce their high school gym teachers or camp counselors. Not all of these attempts were unsuccessful. Our real-life experiences do not jibe with our politics on this issue."
- Judith Gay, "Mummies and Babies" and Friends and Lovers in Lesotho’ (1986).
- Paidika, Vol. 2, No. 4 (1992): Special Women's Issue.
- Marina Knopf, "Sexual Contacts Between Women and Children", in Paidika, Vol. 3, No.3 (1994).
- Amanda H. Littauer, Queer Girls and Intergenerational Lesbian Sexuality in the 1970s, in Historical Reflections, 46:1 (2020), 95-108.
- Testimony: Experiences of chronophilias - Contains some examples.
- She Said - Women, Lesbians, and Feminists Speak About Youthlove
- Korephilia - RationalWiki.
- A MAP In Love - A Blog by Katie Cruz