I'm searching for a broad word that is summarized by sexual transgression. Is there a single word to describe a type of behavior of those that pursue rape, pedophilia, adultery, incest, or molestation?

  • I believe the word you're looking for is "Hellenistic".
    – Sam
    Commented Dec 30, 2013 at 4:09

2 Answers 2


There is no single word to cover your broad field of Sexual Predatory Behavior or even your narrowed field of Sexual Transgression.

We do call those who have transgressed so sex offenders. However, it is a very broad term which includes even some types of texting.

There is a distinction made between a sex offender and a sexual predator, because of the predatory nature of some sex crimes.

Deviant (departing from usual or accepted standards, esp. in social or sexual behavior) can be used if you are already discussing the topic, as can offender or predator, but it needs a context to be most effective.

Paraphilia is too broad a term that has been debated by psychiatrists because it includes relatively harmless behaviors (such as mild fetishes) and fantasies which need not be acted upon.

Purity carries a connotation of sexual sin, but is much too broad.

  • The problem here is I'm trying to summarize a set of rules like no adultery, no rape, no pedophilia, etc. It's beginning to look like there is no way for me to summarize it into a single rule.
    – Xarcell
    Commented Dec 28, 2013 at 20:56
  • again, no single word, but you can cover it with moralality if you will include other categories like killing, lying, greed, etc. You will need two words for sexual morality. Commented Dec 28, 2013 at 20:59
  • What if I used "sexual malice, such as: adultry, rape, etc..."?
    – Xarcell
    Commented Dec 28, 2013 at 21:00
  • That sounds fine to me, especially as it denotes intention. Commented Dec 28, 2013 at 21:05
  • 3
    @Xarcell, as Susan says, malice denotes intention, and an intention to cause hurt. This is perfectly suitable for molestation and rape, but in many (probably most) cases not for adultery (most people commit adultery because they can’t help themselves—not to cause pain), nor for (non-predatory) incest (siblings or cousins who fall in love do not normally do so in order to cause pain). Sexual deviance can work, because it simply implies something that is different from a norm (whether implied or explicitly defined). Commented Dec 28, 2013 at 22:00

To settle the debate a bit, let's agree that your question and the list of activities in it are only culturally connected. Once we've done that, all we need to do is find a word that, in your culture, encapsulates all those things. I suggest the following: Pervert, deviant, aberrant. I'm pretty sure 'pervert' is the most likely to appear in common usage.

  • Pervert doesn't necessarily mean sexual though.
    – Xarcell
    Commented Dec 29, 2013 at 2:36
  • I think, in common terms it does. What other use can you think of?
    – Terencio
    Commented Dec 29, 2013 at 7:05
  • merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pervert
    – Xarcell
    Commented Dec 29, 2013 at 14:01
  • Excellent. As you can see from your link, there is only one definition for the word as a noun, and it is perfect for this use.
    – Terencio
    Commented Dec 31, 2013 at 6:21
  • Or is the problem that we are trying to describe the aberrant behavior of a pervert?
    – Terencio
    Commented Dec 31, 2013 at 6:29

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