A chickenhawk or chicken hawk is slang used in American and British gay culture to denote older males who prefer younger males for partners, who may less often be called "chickens",[1] i.e., the prey of the chickenhawk.[2] Other variations include chicken queen[3] and chicken plucker.[2]

It is sometimes used as a disparaging vulgarity within the LGBT community, or seen as a slur against people in that community. The label can be applied to a man who seeks partners with the look of someone young, regardless of their target's age.[4][5]

"Chickenhawk" also indicates a man who uses underage boys for his sexual pleasure. The usage was publicized by members of the controversial group NAMBLA in the 1994 documentary film Chicken Hawk: Men Who Love Boys,[6][7] although Time magazine reported it in this sense in 1975.[3]

The use and significance of this term have been the subject of academic discussions[8][9] and popular reports.

See also


  1. ^ This term is more common in the UK; the more common term in the US is twink.
  2. ^ a b Donald F. Reuter (2006). Gay-2-Zee: A Dictionary of Sex, Subtext, and the Sublime. St. Martin's Griffin. ISBN 9780312354275.
  3. ^ a b "Crossing Signals". Time magazine. September 8, 1975. Archived from the original on December 9, 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-16.
  4. ^ "Shades of Rainbow; From both the Gay & Lesbian Perspective". Outcomebuffalo. Retrieved 2007-06-21. Chicken: A younger, new-to-the-scene, typically attractive gay male. Chicken Hawk: An older gay male that seeks out Chickens.
  5. ^ "Culture and Family Issues". Gay Talk: A (Sometimes Outrageous) Dictionary of Gay Slang. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-06-21. chicken (fr naut [from nautical] chicken = a young recruit // sl [slang] usu [usually] in negative context as “You’re no spring chicken”) 1. any boy under the age of consent, heterosexual, fair of face, and unfamiliar with homosexuality “So many chickens were flapping around that I thought we were touring Colonel Sander’s (sic) plantation” 2. juvenile, youthful, young-looking. Syn: chicken-looking (“You’re chicken-looking enough to pose for Maypo cereal boxes”); tender 3. (rare, kwn LV [known in Las Vegas], mid ’60s) to [sodomize] a pretty boy.
  6. ^ Chicken Hawk: Men Who Love Boys at IMDb
  7. ^ Holden, Stephen (1994-07-08). "FILM REVIEW; Men Who Love Boys Explain Themselves". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-09-17.
  8. ^ Adam, Barry D. (2000) "Age Preferences among Gay and Bisexual Men", GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 6(3):413–33
  9. ^ "Queerness, sexuality, technology, and writing: How do queers write ourselves when we write in cyberspace?" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-07-14. (885 KiB) by Jonathan Alexander, Barclay Barrios, Samantha Blackmon, Angela Crow, Keith Dorwick, Jacqueline Rhodes, and Randal Woodland