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Homosexuality and Mentorship

The mentor-protégé relationship1 relationship between an older and a younger man could include homosexual love as an expression of the bond between the boy and the man, who would normally also be married. Although homosexuality between women, as between men outside a mentor-protégé relationship, was not socially acceptable, the homosexuality between older mentors and younger protégés was generally accepted as appropriate behavior so long as the older man did not exploit his younger companion physically while neglecting his education in public affairs. Athenian society therefore encompassed a wide range of bonds among men, ranging from political and military activity, to training of mind and body, to sexual practices.

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