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Age gap Taboo, have the attitudes reversed?

Corsair

Member
Regardless of what society likes to claim it seems there is always an acceptance in shaming or not tolerating a certain group or lifestyle choice.

I am wondering if in today's society it has become more acceptable for a woman to be with a younger man than it is for a man to be with a younger woman? I feel that men are often seen as sexual predators and that the older man x younger woman combination makes people feel uneasy as they see the man as manipulating the woman in some respect.

What are your thoughts, do you feel it is the same regardless of which gender is older or do you feel you are accepted regardless of which gender/age status you are?
 

SheLikesKitties

OW/YM 21YR GAP
I think that any age gap relationship is suspect in the eyes of society. People cannot believe that people who are 15, 20 or 30 years apart could genuinely love each other and establish a family. I suppose that the "predator" label is applied depending on the age of the younger partner. Being 18 is not necessarily equivalent to being mature enough to have a relationship based on equality. On the other hand being 40 or 60 is no guarantee of maturity either. At one point one has to say to heck with what society accepts and just be happy.
 

Pickles

New member
Though there has been a slight relaxing of society, it is still an orientation/choice that is not given a lot of support.
And it still leans favor towards older men with younger women being a free pass (as long the female is not teen) as opposed to the poor guy with old bag *sigh.

One just has to clinch the teeth and present their jaw. The heck with the unwritten rules, long as we are not hurting anyone else, our affections are our business!
My family with a mild eruption of teasing at first was much more accepting and calmed quicker than his.
 

Corsair

Member
Though there has been a slight relaxing of society, it is still an orientation/choice that is not given a lot of support.
And it still leans favor towards older men with younger women being a free pass (as long the female is not teen) as opposed to the poor guy with old bag *sigh.

One just has to clinch the teeth and present their jaw. The heck with the unwritten rules, long as we are not hurting anyone else, our affections are our business!
My family with a mild eruption of teasing at first was much more accepting and calmed quicker than his.

You really think the older man still gets a pass? I think male sexuality is being shamed in general and that an older man with a younger woman would be seen as predatory.

I think age gaps do tend to "gross" people out though.
 

Sweetie28

Mark's girl
Society is odd that way, at least in most western cultures. I would say attitudes towards age gaps (OM/YW) changed within the last fifty years as it used to be very common throughout most of history for older men to marry younger women especially since lifespans used to be much shorter and most younger men weren't financially stable enough to start families. I feel the obsession with youth started the frowning upon of age gaps especially as people tended to put off marriage into their 30s and 40s. I love being married to my hubby and the age gap, it just clicks. Honestly, who cares as long are both adults, love, care, and respect each other? I find it silly to judge a relationship "doomed" based upon age, but a lot of people who judge that based it on s*x anyway, which is superficial to a real, lasing relationship.
 

Corsair

Member
Society is odd that way, at least in most western cultures. I would say attitudes towards age gaps (OM/YW) changed within the last fifty years as it used to be very common throughout most of history for older men to marry younger women especially since lifespans used to be much shorter and most younger men weren't financially stable enough to start families. I feel the obsession with youth started the frowning upon of age gaps especially as people tended to put off marriage into their 30s and 40s. I love being married to my hubby and the age gap, it just clicks. Honestly, who cares as long are both adults, love, care, and respect each other? I find it silly to judge a relationship "doomed" based upon age, but a lot of people who judge that based it on s*x anyway, which is superficial to a real, lasing relationship.

Despite what society may think, I believe we are more prudish in many ways now than we used to be.

There is also this emphasis on fairness or so society believes now and some people have this idea that if one person is much older they have some kind of an advantage or that the younger person is being robbed of something.
 

SummerBob

Super Moderator
"Despite what society may think, I believe we are more prudish in many ways now than we used to be."

On the other hand, I think there is evidence that "society" (whatever that means), is becoming more accepting of age gaps. I've been to another forum where age gaps of 20-something women with 50-something men are common and where 20s/60s relationships are are sprinkled throughout the forum. I never saw age gaps like that here or at other AG forums I belonged to in the past.

I think the Internet has something to do with that. In the 1980's and early 90's, a small elite group controlled the flow of information to the public. As individuals, we were limited to mail, telephone and word of mouth as our only means of communication, none of which lent themselves to broadcasting to the public, so we rarely got to tell our story. People got their information from TV, radio and newsprint. So, they would read their tabloids, watch their soaps, read magazines like People and watch Oprah on TV, and that was their source of what is "acceptable" behavior and lifestyle choices. If you wrote a letter to a column (such as an advice column or editorial), or were lucky enough to get on a radio or TV talk show, you got to tell your story. But remember that the host or editor controlled the conversation, so the message that got out was whatever they wanted it to be.

Fast forward to the Internet and anyone can upload a video to YouTube, create a group on Facebook, and tell their story to a national or international audience that is independent of "mainstream" media. This opened the door for people with different needs, desires, and lifestyles to express themselves to the public. The result is that more people are exposed to a wider variety of people and lifestyles than ever before. It gives people the ability to accept diversity far more than when "Oprah" was their only source.
 

Sweetie28

Mark's girl
Maybe it has in some circles lessened, but when I watch Dateline, 20/20 if there’s am age gap with a couple they always call it gross or unnatural or state it as gold digging. Mind you there are people who do that, but most relationships are not that way.
 

SummerBob

Super Moderator
The mainstream news media will always be the mainstream news media. They are largely out of touch with the average person, but continue to act as if they own a monopoly. I've learned to tune them out. The fact that they were virtually the only outlet prior to about 1995 makes exactly my point. If they're judgment of age gaps is bad now, it was just as bad or worse then, and people didn't have the Internet to turn to.
 
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