Nepiophilia is an attraction to newborns, infants and toddlers under five years of age. Sometimes it is defined only as an attraction to toddlers, with infantophilia being a separate term for an attraction towards even younger ages. Sometimes these terms are seen as synonymous.
History of the term
According to most researchers, the word "infantophilia" in its modern interpretation was first mentioned in "Infantophilia—A New Subcategory of Pedophilia?: A Preliminary Study" by David Greenberg, described there as "a sexual orientation for children less than five years old." This was later elaborated upon in "A Profile of Pedophilia: Definition, Characteristics of Offenders, Recidivism, Treatment Outcomes, and Forensic Issues". Previously it was interpreted along with the term nepiophilia by John Money as: "If the eligible partner is an infant, 'infantophilia' is the diagnostic term. If it is essential that the infant be wearing diapers, however, the Greek-derived term for the diapered infant, 'nepiophilia,' applies". However, this interpretation was later rejected because of the vagueness of the origin of such a peculiar and unconfirmed definition. Greenberg, on the other hand, is a more reliable source, as he studied actual maps rather than relying on theoretical assumptions.
The term consists of the Greek "νήπιος" (népios) meaning "infant" or "child," which derives from "ne" and "epos" meaning "not speaking." This is worth clarifying, as it is no less common for the variation of the origin of the term from an another Greek root "νέπους" or "νέποδες" meaning "children," or Latin "nepos," "nepotis" meaning "nephew" or "grandson," which does not explain the letter i in "nepio." And φιλία (philía) in turn means "love."
The nepiophile flag (pictured above) was designed by Pappy in March 2022. They also made a nepio caterpillar in 2020, taking inspiration from the childlove butterfly.
Empirical studies show that in the vast majority of cases nepiophilia does not overlap with pedophilia and that among pedophiles the attraction to children of the nepiophile age group occurs in less than 10% of cases, so the identification of nepiophilia and pedophilia or calling the former a sub-type of the latter is fundamentally wrong. In fact, nepiophilia is much less common than hebephilia and ephebophilia, making it the least common of the minor attractions. Due to that non-prevalence, there is much less publicly available information on it than on any other chronophilia. Although according to Howells (1981), Bernard (1982), McConaghy (1993), and Lautmann (1994), male-oriented pedophilia more prevalently blends in with ephebophilia, while female-oriented pedophilia more prevalently blends in with nepiophilia.
- Greenberg, David M.; Bradford, John; Curry, Susan. (1995). Infantophilia—A New Subcategory of Pedophilia?: A Preliminary Study. Bull Am Acad Psychiatry Law, Vol. 23, No. 1.
- Hall, Ryan C. W. and Hall, Richard C. W. (2007). A Profile of Pedophilia: Definition, Characteristics of Offenders, Recidivism, Treatment Outcomes, and Forensic Issues. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Vol. 82, No. 4.
- Money, John. (1990). Pedophilia, New Phylism Theory, and Paraphilic Lovemaps. In Jay Feierman (Ed.), Pedophilia, Biosocial Dimensions, 451. Springer. Retrieved from Library Genesis.
- Bernard, Frits. (1985). Paedophilia: A factual report. Enclave.
- Howells, Kevin. (1981). Considerations Relevant to Theories of Etiology. In Mark Cook and Kevin Howells (Eds.), Adult Sexual Interest in Children. London: Academic Press.
- Bernard, Frits. (1982). Pädophilie und Altersgrenzen ("Paedophilia and Different Ages of Childhood"). In Kinderschänder?—Pädophilie: Von der Liebe mit Kindern (Child Molesters?—Paedophilia: On Childlove), 81-109. Berlin: Foerster Verlag.
- McConaghy, Nathaniel. (1993). Sexual Behaviour: Problems and Management, 312. New York: Plenum. Retrieved from Library Genesis.
- Lautmann, Rüdiger. (1994). Unterschiede zwischen Knaben- und Mädchenliebe ("Differences Between Boy- and Girl-Love"). In Die Lust am Kind. Portrait des Pädophilen (Erotic Affection for Minors: Portrait of Paedophilia), 36-40. Hamburg: Ingrid Klein Verlag. Retrieved from the Internet Archive.