As some have seen, there appeared two alternatives to the term “map”. “Yap”, “youth attracted person”, coined by Lilitha around the last New Year, and “myap”, “minor/youth attracted person”, a blend, crated by Pappy a few days ago. I want to try to compare them, their strong and weak sides, with as little bias as I can.
Before I go into that, I want to state that I, as well as Lilitha and Pappy, am categorically against forcing people to identify with any of these three terms or denounce any. Neither is good or bad, either can be useful in certain situations.
The main bonus of the term “map” is its age. It appeared and gained traction around 20 years ago, which means a lot of people are aware of it. New maps find out about map spaces through antis’ hate posts. I myself, angry after a fight with someone on Tumblr, put “minor attracted person” into the search bar and immediately found someone who eventually became my door to the community. More experienced maps use these key words as a means to make themselves found and spread their resources (my suspended WordPress used to be number one on Google for “minor attracted person wordpress”). Scientists use “minor attracted person”, and you can see interesting things while searching it up together with a scientific site of your choice. It’s much more useful than using words “pedophile” and “pedophilia”, which tend to bring CSA-related information.
Another bonus is in how this term points at the social construct of a “minor” as one of the causes of mapmisia. It would be an oversimplification to equate all of mapmisia to a byproduct of ageism. And yet, people, legally deemed “minors”, are meant to be property of their guardians, and as property, they are not supposed to be included in adult life – be that by sexual desire or somehow else. The social context in which the term “map” was born was not the context of desire for children and adolescents in biological sense, but in social.
Legality of the term “minor” may be a bonus while discussing some aspects of mapness, but is also a large downside. “Minor” is not a universal concept, it is tied to particular laws of particular countries. Moreover, it may create a wrong image of mapness as an attraction to legal inferiority and therefore vulnerability of younger people. It also poses problems for maps who are children and teenagers themselves – antis who hear the term “minor map” for some reason tend to assume it’s about peer-attracted youth.
Some also believe the term “minor” is inappropriate and should be avoided – and I am one of these people, even though I don’t go as far as to extend it to the word “map”.
In addition to that, “minor” as a synonym for a person below 18 is not inherently an accurate description of most maps’ preferences, because, by the end of puberty, teenagers are indistinguishable from adults.
Another important drawback that should not be overlooked is a clear parallel between “minor attracted” and “same sex attracted”, born from conversion therapy language.
Changing “minor” to “youth” completely resolves the legalist problem of “map”. “Youth” is a concept that exists in most (may be all) human languages and is easy to translate without a large loss of sense, and it will not be radically altered or abolished by any new law.
This change also appeals to the concept of youth rights. There are way more positive contexts in which the word “youth” is used, than there are for the word “minor”.
As a new term, that didn’t yet catch on, it is way less suitable for organizing needs. New people, even if they learn about it from antis, will not find the community as easily, and information, tagged as “youth attracted person”, but not “minor attracted person”, will pass unnoticed by those who know only the old term.
This term also shares two cons with “map” – the ambiguity of “youth” implies much older ages to be included, and the conversion therapy roots of “x attracted” are still here.
Searching up “minor/youth attracted person” will bring you results for both other terms, although with some limitations.
This is also a good option for people who don’t want radical changes of leaving “map”, but want a smooth transition. In case there appears some fight between those who want to reject “map” in favor of “yap” and those who want it vice versa, a term that incorporates both should be a compromise. Uniting the concepts of attraction to youth and attraction to minors under the same term also helps explaining that the nature of mapness is much more complex than the most basic interpretation of “minor” and “youth” separately may imply.
Aside from conversion therapy connections, shared by the other two terms, this term doesn’t resolve the problem for people who want to avoid using “minor” under all circumstances. It is also much longer to say when you aren’t using the abbreviated version.
In this analysis I deliberately left some arguments out, such as “pedophiles are rebranding again”, which is annoying, but not inherently harmful for the community, as well as people’s personal distaste for change. I tried to focus only on what can affect the community objectively: building connections and information exchange, ability to use the term to convey a certain meaning correctly. There’s probably much more to say about this issue.