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Gerontophilia or sexual assault against seniors

Posted January. 02, 2015 09:43,   


There is a saying that sexual desire knows no bounds. Even the elderly has sexual appetite. However, it doesn’t sound normal if it is a sexual appetite "for the elderly," not "of the elderly." Feeling lust for the senior is called gerontophilia. It is a symptom of sexual psychopathy just like pedophilia. Having sexual desire for old men is named as "alphamegamia," and that for old women is called ¡°anililagnia." The term of gerontophilia was coined by Richard von Krafft-Ebing, a psychiatrist who lived in the same era as Sigmund Freud.

Investigation found that Jeong Hyeong-geun, who allegedly killed an old woman and carried the corpse in a bag to throw away in Incheon, tried to rape the old lady and killed her when she resisted. According to the police report, Jeong had a sexual arousal while drinking liquor with the old woman and attempted to rape her. During the act, she resisted and Jeong hit her with a ceramic mug. Jeong thought she was dead and put her body into a bag, and found the victim was still alive and killed her with a knife. The murderer is aged 55 and the victim was 71 years old.

However, sexual crimes against the elderly cannot be solely attributed to the paraphilia of assailants. Abasiophilia is a psychosexual attraction to people with impaired mobility, like those wearing a cast or on a wheelchair. It is more like committing sexual crime against victims who cannot actively resist, rather than a psychosexual perversion. Sexual appetite for senior citizens has something in common with abasiophilia in that an elderly is weak in power to protect herself. Senior citizens are an easy target of robbery and burglary. Similarly, the senior can easily become a target of normal (not paraphilic) sexual crime.

In a hospital located in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province two years ago, a 62-year-old female patient was raped by a 33-year-old male nurse aid, but the victim couldn’t tell her family about this incident. Even though the old lady belatedly reported to the police, she received only icy stares from others who believed that “she must have made a move first.” If the murder case in Incheon ended up as sexual violence, can the 71-year-old woman easily report to the police? Probably, the attacker may have considered this aspect in plotting the crime. Now, the entire society must be on alert against sexual crime issues of female senior citizens.