When Older Guys Lust After Young Women

Men’s sexual desire is driven by culture, not evolution, Hugo Schwyzer argues. Here’s what young women are really looking for, and why we’re fools to think otherwise.

In my office, Amber is telling me a familiar story. She’s come to talk about her autobiography paper for my women’s studies class, and she reads part of her rough draft aloud.

“I was 12, and this car pulled up alongside me as I was walking home from school … the driver looked a little older than my dad, at least 40. He leaned out, and I thought he was going to ask me for directions, but instead he asked me how old I was. When I told him, he laughed. ‘Damn, you got some big titties for such a little girl.’ He made this gross smacking sound with his lips, and sped away. I ran all the way home.”

Amber looks up at me. “I want to know,” she asks, “why do older men hit on younger women?” She’s 20 now, tall and graceful; she tells me that for the last eight years, older men have been approaching her. “It’s not just me,” she adds, “it happens to most of my friends, almost regardless of what they look like or what they’re wearing. It makes me feel like I can’t trust anyone, like all men want just one thing. Why can’t they chase women their own age?”


I’ve been writing and researching about relationships between older men and younger women since 2005. While the media is hyping the “cougar” phenomenon, they ignore the reality that in most age-disparate affairs the man is the older (sometimes, as in the case of Hugh Hefner, astoundingly older) partner. We take it for granted that many men in their 30s, 40s, and 50s will be more sexually attracted to younger women than to their peers. While most men and women alike are appalled by stories of adult men hitting on 12-year-olds, we still assume that men will “naturally” lust after young women just a few years older.

In 2005, John Derbyshire, a much-admired right-wing pundit at the National Review, opined:

It is, in fact, a sad truth about human life that beyond our salad days, very few of us are interesting to look at in the buff. Added to that sadness is the very unfair truth that a woman’s salad days are shorter than a man’s—really, in this precise context, only from about 15 to 20.

Remarkably, the “family values” editors at America’s flagship conservative journal let this nonsense run, perhaps because they accepted what he was saying as gospel truth: 15- and 16-year-old girls are more sexually alluring to normal adult men than are women in their late 20s. But Derbyshire wasn’t telling us a truth about women’s beauty—he was telling us a truth about the way we’ve socialized male desire.

No one thinks babies were the first thing on the mind of Jason Statham when he started dating a 23-year-old Victoria’s Secret model, or that Sean Penn (50) is motivated by the desire to start a family with Scarlett Johansson, who’s barely half his age.

Ask any porn site operator: the “barely legal” or “teens” sections are among the most popular niches. That doesn’t sound so troubling when you imagine an army of teen boys masturbating to images and videos of their female peers. It’s considerably different to imagine men jerking off to pictures of girls young enough to be their daughters—or granddaughters. Since Hef published his first Playboy magazine in 1953, we’ve raised three generations of men to believe that women peak in desirability somewhere between 18 and 24. For many men, that peak starts much earlier. Ask a 17-year-old how often she’s been leered at (or worse) by a much older man.

For too many men, the term “jailbait” isn’t a warning. It’s an enticement.


Spare me the arguments from biology or evolutionary psychology, the ones that excuse predatory old guys from staring at “young firm flesh” because that flesh belongs to a woman near the peak of her fertility. The great lengths to which countless men go to avoid fatherhood suggests that the continued evolutionary imperative to “spread one’s seed” is oversold to the point of being illusory. No one thinks babies were the first thing on the mind of Jason Statham when he started dating a 23-year-old Victoria’s Secret model, or that Sean Penn (50) is motivated by the desire to start a family with Scarlett Johansson, who’s barely half his age. This is about the cultural cachet of dating a much younger woman—and about the difficult-to-deny reality that younger women lack the experience and wisdom to call their older lovers on their bullshit.

Two recent books do a superb job of puncturing the argument that male sexuality is primarily a creature of evolutionary programming. University of North Carolina professor Martha McGaughey’s The Caveman Mystique: Pop-Darwinism and the Debates Over Sex, Violence and Science (Routledge, 2008) makes the convincing case that our beliefs about male sexuality form the science, and not the other way around. In other words, men who want a reason to chase younger women are desperate to claim that what is a culturally constructed choice is really an unavoidable biological reality.

Cordelia Fine’s Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference (Norton, 2010) offers a systematic debunking of the idea that men’s sexual decisions are driven largely by brain chemistry. Both Fine and McGaughey make a compelling case that the actual science doesn’t support the idea that men’s sexual desires are driven by evolutionary imperatives.

In other words, John Derbyshire (and a lot of other grown men) may be sexually attracted to underage girls—but they don’t get to blame that fetish on biology.

Even if it were “natural,” there’s nothing innocent or harmless or healthy about older men pursuing substantially younger women. The cost is high to everyone involved. While a few young women may be attracted to much older guys (often because they falsely imagine themselves to be “so much more mature” than “other girls” their age), most are like Amber—disheartened and disgusted by the endless parade of men 10, 20, or 40 years older who harass and hit on them. These young women aren’t flattered. And even if they seem flattered at the time, it doesn’t mean the attention from older men isn’t doing great harm.


Lynn Phillips, a psychology professor at New York University, did a famous study of young women (mostly under legal age) who were in relationships with significantly older men. Most of the girls she interviewed described these affairs as mutual, exciting, and fulfilling. They pushed back against the suggestion that they were being exploited, claiming in many cases to have initiated or at least welcomed the sex with older men. Phillips then interviewed a similar number of older women. Each of these was over 30, and each had been in a relationship with a much older man while still in her teens. With the benefit of hindsight and experience, these older women acknowledged that they’d been used and hurt and exploited. They admitted that their claims of maturity and sexual adventurousness were all a pretense. In other words, what Phillips found is that while there are some teen girls who are “asking for it,” it’s not what they really want. Teen girls feign sexual sophistication; men need to be able to see through that.

Kerry Cohen, author of Loose Girl and the forthcoming Dirty Little Secrets: Breaking the Silence on Teenage Girls and Promiscuity, argues that “when adult men sexualize teen girls, even just by ogling them, the girls are reminded that their worth in their world is dependent on how sexy they are.” “Girls who choose men so far out of their age ranges,” Cohen writes, “tend toward low self-esteem and depression.” These aren’t sweet coming-of-age stories. And they don’t fit the pornographic story line that young girls are eager for sexual initiation at the hands of an older, wiser mentor.

Here’s the brutal truth, guys. Teen and 20-something women aren’t nearly as interested in much older men as you may think. Sure, there are high school girls with Johnny Depp fantasies, but guess what? You’re not Johnny Depp. (If you were that 48-year-old actor, you’d be devoted to your 38-year-old French girlfriend.) Yes, some young women do flirt with older men. Some do it for validation, some do it for excitement, but a hell of a lot of them do it because guys like you have already taught them that’s the only thing that older men want.


A true story about the way younger women really see “older men” (and if you’re attracted to 18- to 24-year-olds, you count as “older” if you’re on the high side of 30).

A few years ago, my friend Sean went through a rough divorce. Newly single and almost 40, he went back on the dating scene for the first time in over a decade. But the woman who caught his eye wasn’t someone he met online. She was his favorite barista at his local Starbucks. She was 19.

Next: The girl behind the counter

Pages: 1 2

About Hugo Schwyzer

Hugo Schwyzer has taught history and gender studies at Pasadena City College since 1993, where he developed the college's first courses on Men and Masculinity and Beauty and Body Image. He serves as co-director of the Perfectly Unperfected Project, a campaign to transform young people's attitudes around body image and fashion. Hugo lives with his wife, daughter, and six chinchillas in Los Angeles. Hugo blogs at his website


  1. Tbh, this is the most ridiculous bunch of crap I’ve heard in a long time…although your line about Johnny Depp was semi-clever.

    So, basically, what you’re saying is that young women, girls, have no control and thus no responsibility for their own behavior or sexuality and that if not for your warnings, men everywhere would be nothing more than rampaging pedos looking for any 6th grader that will look at him sideways. Interesting.

  2. Catullus says:

    Hugo, you make a somewhat reasonable point here, but you could stand to find another way to hammer home the idea of ‘substanitally older’ without the moldy ‘young enough to be one’s daughter’ nonsense. I’m 52 and my girlfriend is 35. What’s so wrong with that? It strikes me as if you’re trying to make up for the fact that you slept with some of your students.

    • Excactly, Catullus…I was going to make this very point actually.

      A 12 year old and a 30 year old is a VERY different scenario than a 30 year old and a 50 year old. It is conceicvable (in fact even likely) that the 30/50 pair are peers and have many things in common, whereas the 12/30 is just pedophilia. Hugo’s use of Scarlett Johansen and Sean Penn is not only irrelevant, it’s misleading. I think Hugo probably only used it to try and demonstrate how ‘widespread’ the ‘epidemic’ of what he typefies as male sexual deviance is.

      By likening it to ‘young enough to be one’s daughter’, he adds that element of seediness that he seems to need to color men’s sexuality with.

      • Catullus says:

        We all find it convenient to ascribe the lowest possible motivation to those we dislike. Andrea Dworkin was a master of this and MRAs have learned a lot from her.

  3. Hugo, are you able to approach gender issues from anything like a non-moralistic viewpoint? Because when I read articles like the one above, it very much seems to me that what you’re doing is wrapping an extremely traditional, protestant and conservative understanding of sexual and and affective morality in a feminist banner to try to give new life to outdated and suspect ideas which are quite patently non-liberatory and which do not respect peoples’ freedom of sexual choice.

    I wholeheartedly agree that most men are full of USDA Grade A bullshit when they claim that chasing after a woman half their age is some sort of “biological imperative”. The hell it is. As you very cogently pointed out, if biology was running the show, why the worries about birth control and pregnancy? Why the use of horse-sized doses of viagra? Yeah, you’re right: it’s socialization and culture driving most men when it comes to their oft-stated desire for much younger partners.

    But, as is so often the case, you seem to take this male bullshit as license to concoct your own little “just so” story morality myths, naturalizing these with a chutzpah that would leave even the most ferocious socio-biologist gasping in awe.

    In the article above, your entire argument is that, somehow, large age differences between partners inevitably results in the younger female partner being “disappointed and betrayed”. Your main substantive proof for this argument is some anecdotal conversations with a student and Phillips’ “famous” (by what standards, I wonder?) study regarding older men and younger women. Said study, we’re told, somehow “proves” that these relationships are negative because a handful of 30 year old women who went through them no longer think they’re positive when they look back on them. Because, of course, people generally look back on their exs, in western culture, with an overwhelming mixture of love, respect and generosity… right?

    That’s some science there, Hugo.

    I have a piece of information that should be blindingly obvious to a sexuality and gender studies researcher like yourself: 30 year olds (men or women) almost universally look back at the relationships they had a decade previously as being inadequate and classify themselves, at that time, as emotionally unprepared. Looking back, they frequently feel sorely used by their first partners, who were often people who had more experience, whatever their relative ages. This is not at all news in sexuality studies, Hugo. The fact that 30 year old women now regret the liaisons they made with older men when they were 18 or 20 is not proof of your hypothesis that such relationships are “naturally” prejudicial to women.

    In fact – and again, this seems to be a common habit with you – you’re engaging in the same sort of naturalizing behavior as the men you critique and based on evidence that is, if anything, far less impressive than the evidence showing that young people tend to be sexually attractive to people of all ages.

    I’m surprised that I have to bring this up, but yes, it is indeed a fact of nature that young people are generally better looking than older people. It is thus no wonder that, as women gain greater power and more economic weight, we’re seeing more and more matches between younger men and older women. Sure, nothing in the numbers like the traditional male/female old/young matches, but hell, women have only been really present in significant numbers among the ranks of the wealthy, independent and powerful for two generations or so. Give them time and I’m sure they’ll catch up in this, as in other things.

    I’m a man who’s dated many women who were 15-25 years my elders and learned quite a lot about life and love in doing so. My wife’s first sexual relationship was with a man 20+ years her senior and they remained close friends and confidants until his dying day. My mother’s second marriage was to a man almost 30 years older who I can say, with no doubt at all, is one of the best men I’ve ever met. I have never had any interest in dating people much younger than me, but I am VERY glad that some people do. One can learn an awful lot by dating one’s elders, even if some of those lessons aren’t always comfortable and the resulting relationships may not end up “happily ever after”.

    It seems to me that your article, while dressing itself in the trappings of feminist concern, actually infantilizes young adult women by presuming that they must be protected in a sort of sexual “middle school”, where they would only be allowed to date within their generation for their own good. You seem to be honestly worried about women (but oddly enough, not men) being hurt by older, more experienced partners. But that, Hugo, is the name of the game when it comes to love. Love is a risky business and the only way to learn about it is by doing it. EVERYONE I know made bad initial choices of partners when they were younger and got burned, independent of age differences. As a guy going on your third marriage, I very much doubt you can say differently. And while yeah, its a gross stereotype to think that younger people “naturally” gravitate to older people as “wise, calm, learned partners”, it’s just as much an offensive stereotype to presume – as you do here – that older partners are all “betraying, disappointing” pseudo-pedophiles, out to strip the youngsters of their dignity and independence.

    Seriously, Hugo: you have some very prominent unexamined moral issues and prejudices showing in the article above. There are good relationships and bad relationships, but most are a mixture of positive and negative things. There is exactly ZERO solid evidence to prove that, given two adult humans, age difference is a significant factor in a relationship’s eventual success. Experience, age, wisdom and the ability to manipulate other people do not grow in linked fashion during the course of one’s life and to presume that they do – and that society needs must protect adult women against “inappropriate” sexual choices based on age – is so much ageist, sexist, falsely moralistic bullshit.

    • I wish I could thumb this up a bazillion times

    • Sorry but I have to be a naysayer here. The psychology of young women is not fully untangled from the conditioning women have received generally in being seen in the political economy, and in individual families as equal to boys – when they are girls – and having the potential to become equal to men when they are women.

      The way you stop “infantilizing” a girl or young woman is to support her agency in EVERYTHING, including earning money, including politics, including holding up men’s responsibility for the work of childcare/parenting.

      It’s very convenient how this “infantilization” argument gets trotted out only when the subject is young women consenting to sex.

      • Sorry, I made a typo –

        “The psychology of young women is not fully untangled from the conditioning women have received generally in NOT being seen and supported psychologically in the political economy, and in individual families, as equal to boys – when they are girls – and being equal to men when they are women.”

      • The way you stop “infantilizing” a girl or young woman is to support her agency in EVERYTHING, including earning money, including politics, including holding up men’s responsibility for the work of childcare/parenting.

        I’m not sure I agree, but let’s take you at your word. So logically, then, this means supporting said young woman if she decides to date an older man, correct?

        Hugo seems to think that sort of agency is noxious in young women.

        It’s very convenient how this “infantilization” argument gets trotted out only when the subject is young women consenting to sex.

        Really? By who? Me, or in general? Because if the observation is directed at me, you are quite wrong. I can show you many places where I’ve discussed the infantilization of women, in general. If it’s directed at society at large, I still think that you’re wrong: there are tons of books, blogs and articles that discuss the infantilization of women.

        So what I find “interesting” is your need to ascribe a behavior to people you don’t even bother to name, as if making this sort of generic, unsupported statement somehow divests you of the need to engage with and refute what’s actually being said: to wit, if you support women’s agency, then you needs must support them when they make decisions that you, personally, do not like.

      • The way you stop “infantilizing” a girl or young woman is to support her agency in EVERYTHING, including earning money, including politics, including holding up men’s responsibility for the work of childcare/parenting.
        I agree. And that goes for committing violence and other crimes and making decisions that go against the tow line.

        It’s very convenient how this “infantilization” argument gets trotted out only when the subject is young women consenting to sex.
        Kind of like how it never comes up when a woman commits a violent crime right? All of a sudden she couldn’t have done that on her own it must have been some man that made her do it.

      • Catullus says:

        It may be convenient but that hardly makes the point invalid. You’re welcome to propose raising the age of consent to thirty if you think that helps.

      • assman says:

        “The psychology of young women is not fully untangled from the conditioning women have received generally in being seen in the political economy”

        Huh? So what. It can’t ever be untangled. Are you saying you envision a society where a women makes choices completely independently of societal conditioning. Is that even possible?

        It trotted out as you say for sex because sex is important and has large consequences. And there hilarious thing to me here is that feminists have always been the ones to emphasize the importance of women’s sexual choices. I guess you originally did this because it was convenient to YOU. And now that it not convenient to you because it conflicts with YOUR societal conditioning you have decided to abandon the idea. How very convenient.

    • Catullus says:

      You know this and I know this. Hugo knows it too, I suspect. I can’t help but wonder if a lot of this is brand-building.

    • TBH:
      I know I am coming very late to the game on the first page here, but that was the best deconstruction of one of hugo’s man-hating witch hunts that I have ever seen.

  4. GreySquirrel says:

    I totally agree with Hugo. I can assure you that when I was a girl of 18, I was not interested in any guy older than 25. Probably too confident to need an older more experienced guy. My relationships with guys my age taught me everything I needed to learn. Now that I am in my forties, I still only feel attracted to guys my age (somewhere between 8 years older/younger than myself). I notice that guys my age sometimes go for at least 10 years younger and that I get hit on by guys at least 10 years older. Hopefully I will eventually meet someone my age. I don’t want an older guy because I feel that I would not be in the same life phase as him.

    • I don’t think you should be attracted to any particular age group, GS. What works for you, works for you. What I object to is Hugo’s attempt to portray certain kinds of relationships as seedy, exploitative and bordering on pedophilia simply because the female partner is, say, 12 years younger than the male partner.

  5. Henry Vandenburgh says:

    I think men have a strong, global (testosterone fueled) desire for reasonably attractive women, in spite of what constructionist authors may argue. Attractiveness reflects health and is not simply based on age. I will look at the authors cited above, but I have a hunch that they’re ideological (Lysenkoistic.) Many ev-psych prople overly complicate what is a basic testosterone driven set of desires.

    • “Attractiveness reflects health”….

      Sure, Henry. Which is why women who are far under their ideal body weight are considered “attractive” and women who are not at all obese are considered “too fat and ugly”. This is all biologically programmed…. Right….

      I think you should read Cordelia Fine’s work. It is an excellent dissection of the available evidence out there re: testosterone (among other things) as a root for gender difference. Dr. Fine takes the science apart quite nicely, IMHO, and I’d be interested in seeing what you have to say re: her arguments.

      • Henry Vandenburgh says:

        Thad– Maybe not what I’d consider healthy. Or you. I’ll check her out. Hint: don’t typecast my utterances too readily.

    • Is your view that you are testosterone why you need Viagra, then?

      See David Schnarch’s book “Passionate Marriage” where he identifies, correctly I think, that men who lack a healthy, emotionally differentiated self-in relation often need to rely on hormones (and artificial supports like Viagra when they age and those hormone levels drop) to override their anxiety in the intimacy required for good sex.

      • Where did he say anything about needing Viagra? Stawman much?

        But I agree with Thaddeus that testoerone has very little to do with who you are attracted to, just the level of desire, if that. High levels of testosterone can very easily make you attracted to big, burly men.

        • Although he doesn’t say it here, Vandenburgh is a big Viagra fan – he heavily criticizes Hugo’s and other’s articles that talk about alternatives to Viagra.

          • Henry Vandenburgh says:

            They’re not actually alternatives. ED is a real condition. Yes, there are plenty of other things you can do in lovemaking. Many of us do them. At length (no pun.)

            Before Viagra, alternatives were using a dildo, or having an implant (no thanks.)

            I won’t list my wife or past lovers for a poll, but I find this “Viagra bad” business utterly nutty. It doesn’t change a single thing about how one makes love. At all. Setting up a false dichotomy about “sensitive” men versus “hormone powered” men is pretty crazy.

            • Not denying that ED is a real condition (as are analogous conditions in women).

              You are talking about physical remedies only – pills, dildos, implants, etc.

              Again, you don’t know what you are missing.

      • Henry Vandenburgh says:

        Hate to keep harping. The anti-Viagra stuff is weirdly misconceived. And hard to fathom. In my case, Viagra suddenly became necessary, right to the day almost, when my blood pressure medication was doubled. I have absolutely no anxiety about sex. I find ideas like Schnarich’s and others’ here oddly projective.

        Viagra’s not an aphrodesiac; it’s an erection aid. It does nothing to libido. I suppose testosterone decreases with age. If this is a factor, than it’s nice that we have it. Mental desire doesn’t decrease with age.

        I think the weird, hoary stories of young men asking for Viagra–are basically these men acting on a fetish (the name Viagra), to the extent that they’re true.

        • I think you are missing something. Have you tried counseling on differentiation/emotional availability issues? Or read Schnarch’s book or Jack Morin’s book “The Erotic Mind.” You might be amazed.

          It is sadly true fact that many men in our culture have often been shamed out of their emotional lives and not had them validated, no? This is especially true for many men who are Baby Boomer and older. By the time Gen-Xers came around, this shaming conformity and lack of emotional support for boys had started to unravel, it seems to me.

          I have a 73yo father and I’m pretty sure that he would test on the Asperger’s scale even though in fact I’m sure there’s an emotional life in there that wants to connect and is just scared to do it. Really traumatized me as his kid, though.

          • Henry Vandenburgh says:

            Inappropriate stereotyping. I’d been a psychiatric nurse and a counselor– before I got my PhD. Most who know me think I’m pretty emotional.

            • Maybe the reason you chose to become a psychiatric nurse and a counselor is because you wanted help with some subconscious?

              Being a psychiatric counselor is not the same as having undergone psychiatric nursing or counseling.

            • Henry Vandenburgh says:

              Knock it off. You’re stretching, and they’re basically snide ad hominems now.

            • “Being a psychiatric counselor is not the same as having undergone psychiatric nursing or counseling.”

              This is an ad hominem attack? YOU were the one who claimed expertise based on yourself.

              Sorry, I actually felt compassion for you and was trying to help but you are pissing me off. There is no fool like a self-righteous one.

            • Henry Vandenburgh says:


            • Hey, I agree with Henry. I’m as in touch with my emotions as they come and, at 43, with high blood pressure meds, I too use viagra occasionally. It doesn’t increase my desire or make me hornier or whatever. It DOES indeed allow me to maintain an erection for a longer than ten minutes.

              Now yeah, there are PLENTY of other things one can do in sex and we do them. But my wife happens to like intercourse and when she wants to have it, she wants to have it for longer than ten minutes. Viagra’s great in that respect.

            • assman says:

              I am too young to have this problem right now but I have one question: When you read erotic stories like for instance Nancy Friday’s Women on Top do you get an erection without medication?

              I suspect you do. Sex is ultimately more mental than physical and I am suspicious of medicalizing sexual dysfunction because I know that this hasn’t worked for mental illness. There is something deeply wrong with our society if we need drugs to sleep and to have sex.

  6. My 22 year-old-friend is technically dating someone old enough to be her father, but they’ve been together for almost 4 years, and I can guarantee you they’re perfectly happy. I was skeptical at first when she told me she was dating this guy, but when I actually met him and got to know him, he turned out to be someone perfect for her and is definitely not after her for the sex. Plus, he’s a college professor in creative writing and American Literature, and that’s just plain out perfect for her. She’s incredibly mature for her age, knows what she wants, and frankly, there aren’t a lot of guys around our age that are that driven. Nothing wrong with that at all. There are women our age that aren’t as driven as her, either, so it’d only make sense for her to find somebody who already knows what he wants.

    • Which explains why my 21-year-old step-son is marrying the 20-year-old mother of his child. Who, by the way, makes more money than he does.

  7. I’ve personally never seen any medical information that said men’s brains take 30 years to mature. At most, the difference between brain development in men and women is 2-3 years based on what I’ve rad.

    Add in the fact that men and women do sometimes use different part of their brains to relate, some areas men are stronger in and some areas women are stronger in. Men over all have larger brains due to their stereotypical larger size and it makes them less susceptible to dementia when they are older but women are less prone to learning disabilities that men might fall to like AHAD, which has a higher rate in boys then girls. Also consider the extended adolescence both men and women live today. Men decades ago where mature enough to go to war and have families at 18. But that’s not so much the case anymore. Today it’s a stereotype that men still like video games and live at home into adulthood. That’s a cultural shift, not a biological one. Which I think is a combination of the economy and not giving kids the tools to grow up. Add in the fact that if you are someone that believes men have been demeaned in media, then it’s logical to conclude that some of that has been absorbed unfortunately to the determent of men.

    Also, little boys and little girls have bigger differences in their brain when they are little but as we grow and mature, that gap closes up.

    Today it might take men 30 years to mature, but that’s not because of biology. It’s because of our culture.

    • “I’ve personally never seen any medical information that said men’s brains take 30 years to mature. At most, the difference between brain development in men and women is 2-3 years based on what I’ve rad.’

      Yeah. That’s the first I have ever heard of that too. Brain maturation – how is that even measured?

      • The NIH/NIMH study, entitled “Sexual dimorphism of brain developmental trajectories during childhood and adolescence,” is reprinted by permission of Elsevier from the journal NeuroImage, volume 36, number 4, pages 1065-1073, July 15 2007.

        In the figure below, from the NIH study, shows trajectories of brain development in girls (red line) and boys (blue line), with 95% confidence intervals above and below each line. The arrow indicates the “inflection point,” roughly the halfway point in brain development. Girls reach the inflection point just before age 11 years; boys do not reach the inflection point until just before age 15 years. A young woman reaches full maturity, in terms of brain development, between 21 and 22 years of age. A young man does not reach full maturity, in terms of brain development, until nearly 30 years of age.


        • Sigil, if you would please tell us how they measure an abstract concept like “maturity”, then that would be very helpful. It’s kind of your responsibility, seeing as how you brought this source to the debate.

          As Cordelia Fine points out, what very often happens in brain studies of this sort is that some sort of progressive process is identified. We have no real idea what it does or what it means, but being as how it’s a process which progresses with age, one can plausibly attach a label like “maturity” to it and WHAMMO! All of a sudden girls’ brains mature more quickly than boys brains.

          To begin with, this is very bad science. It attaches causality (in this case, women’s preparedness for a serious relationship) to some process in the brain of which we have no clear functional conception.

          Secondly, it’s this very poor sort of “just so” story which has had a long and very well documented history in science of being used to justify unequal treatment of women.

          To put it simply, I’m not at all impressed with this rot of thing.

          Now, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe neuroscience has indeed advanced so far in the last decade that we can now quite clearly map emotional maturity to structures in the brain. That is why I’d like you to tell us how they are measuring this thing. What do they mean by “maturity” and why do you think this has anything to do with emotional maturity?

  8. “This isn’t about shaming adult men for doing a double-take at a cute high school cheerleader. It’s about gently reminding all of us that what looks so grown up isn’t. It’s about remembering that our libidos should be growing along with the rest of us.” PERFECT.

    The article is amazing and, as far as I can see, all of Hugo’s articles make total sense to his female readers. It makes women feel they’re understood and contemplated. It’s awesome, really. I hope it reaches men in the same way. I hope they read and understand it, so that maybe they can see things from a different perspective.

    I think The Good Men Project contributes in a very positive, intelligent way with society. Keep up with the amazing work! :)

  9. These men aren’t “hitting on” younger women– they are harassing them.

    • catullus says:

      Pretty wide net, Mordicai. If it’s OK for someone in a woman’s age range to do (eg offer a compliment or ask for a date), it should be OK for an older man to do. If not (eg, catcall or compliment in a manner that exudes a sense of entitlement), it’s not.
      If you think it’s creepy for older men to try to date younger women, that’s your prerogative. You shouldn’t describe it as ipso facto harassment.

  10. About the discussion on the comments board, my opinion:

    Obviously there are people that share more than sexual attraction towards one another. I think that there are exceptions on women in their 20-something and older men that really click and connect (when it comes to teen girls, sorry, I don’t think so!). But I felt Hugo’s article was more about the general situation… about walking on the street and listening to old-enough-to-be-your-granpa kind of men doing absurd NOISES towards your ass or neckline. And how this is something reinforced by culture, sadly.

    • Is any of this any more palatable or more acceptable when done by men in a given woman’s age range? If not, you need to explain why it’s particularly creepy when much-older men do it. If it’s simply just one’s sensibilities, that’s perfectly fine. Just say so and be done with it. Simple, no?

  11. I think all Hugo is saying is that instead of always sexualizing girls and women, instead of always reducing us to just something to get off to, that it would foster a healthier and happier partnerships between men and women if we didn’t use each other for our personal base reasons. If more men took up a leadership non-sexual, non-predatory guidance role with the girls that look up to them, I think girls could develop healthier relationships with men. It would build a foundation for girls to have older male figure to look up to as examples without feeling their only worth to them is their bodies. And this needs to happen with men outside their own families. Because that’s the only way girls are going to learn that men outside their families respect them too. I don’t see a negative in promoting adult male figures for girls and boys to look up to where girls don’t have to feel sexualized. There are plenty of men that do that, that provide those guidance roles. The first man that ever hired me was someone I really looked up to. He was a father figure because he taught me a lot about the business world and he never acted inappropriately toward me or the other girls in the office. He clearly loves his wife and his two children and that’s what he made his life about. These are the men women respect.

    But there are also men that objectify girls/women for the simple fact they are girls/women. Why would a man expect any woman or girl to respect him for that? Men don’t want to be used for their money. Period. And women and girls don’t want to be used for just their bodies or youth. Period. It’s when both genders use the other gender for these means, even while justifying it, that causes bitterness and strife. How many men come on this website know a man that was taken for all he was worth in divorce? Or dated a woman that just let him take her out to fancy dinners but was never serious about him? That stuff hurts right? Well it hurts women just as much when you make the importance of our existence about our bodies. A woman can rationalize all she wants that she is looking for a “provider” because of “biology” but it doesn’t make it okay to use men for this means. Vice versa for men concerning women’s bodies wouldn’t you agree?

    I’ve come to learn in my own experiences that there are two different type of men in the world in regards to this issue. Men that only want to date younger women and/or have a history of it and men that might date younger women but aren’t dating them for their age and don’t have a history of always dating younger women.

    Either way, we can’t deny that there is a huge pressure on women to remain forever youthful or else she deserves to be cast out the door. Anyone ever been to Askmen? I remember they had some kind of countdown for when the Olsen twins turned 18. Heck, now those girls (at the ripe age being 20 something now) are old news to the likes of Miley Ray Cyrus. Is this what men want womanhood to be about? Is this what men want for their daughters?

    In all honesty, how many men watch porn? How many watch porn of the same 18-24 year old age group while your lives go on? While you have kids, while your kids grow up, while you and your partner grow older? Teenaged boys using porn, yeah I get that. Their boys. They have so many emotions and feelings flying through them and porn is a teenage boy’s wet dream. Making women the image of what his immature mind wants them to be. But when we hold fully grown men to the same standard of teenage boys, I really think we are doing men more harm to good. This isn’t to “demonize men”. Especially in an industry that does way more to demonize what women are about like porn does. This should be to help men. Help men realize they are better then that. They have more to offer a woman then decades of always turning back to the teenager in porn. Male sexuality has a chance to grow and develop. But not if we tell men their sexuality is no better then a teenage boys.

    It’s just fact that Sean Penn is dating a woman young enough to be his daughter. Scarlett is no 12 year old but she isn’t a 50+ year old either. 20 year olds haven’t learned things yet that hopefully and probably a 50 year old has. Again, this is just fact. Life breeds experience. Now Scarlett is a woman that has responsibility for her actions. But it’s ironic that we expect so much more responsibility from women years younger then we do of men that have lived half their life already. And while we hold women more responsible, we also preach about how older men are so desired for their maturity. So if men are desired for their maturity, shouldn’t they in turn hold more responsibility as well? Isn’t that just plain logical?

    It’s funny how much more accountable we hold teenage girls for their budding and new womanhood that we easily say “But this is what the girl did..” in regards to an adult grown man that’s lived in the adult world years more.

    I can only say for myself that as a woman that dated older men when I was younger, I especially look back on those relationships with more regret. I wish I had spent more time with boys/men my own age. My peers made me so much more nervous then older men. Older men didn’t require the same level of effort and knocking down walls that I needed to do to relate to guys my own age when I was younger. So I opted for the easier choice. Older men. I didn’t have to do anything or be anything more then cute and fun. Now that I’m older, in hindsight, I do have regrets. Now that I look back on these relationships more maturely, I have a little contempt for these older men that didn’t really desire anything more from me and they were willing to slobber all over me. If I could do it again, I would have spent more time focusing on boys my age who were more of the challenge.

    I think when we are younger and we date our peers, unless we are abused or cheated on in some kind of way, we can look back and be thankful for what we learned from that relationship even if it didn’t work out. I know I did. But with the older men I dated, I regretted it in a different way. I did feel taken advantage of. Would these same men still have wanted to date me at my age now? I don’t know but I always wondered. In hindsight, I hold some contempt for them. And I even regret that I do because it makes me a little bit skeptical of men in general. That’s my own personal issue but I am so sick of hearing too many guys defend their obession with younger women while they becry about the injustice of women taken advantage of them for their money.

    Because to me, it sure does seem like men are saying “we are better then women because our worth as men outlives that of the worth of a woman”. Isn’t that in a nutshell what men are saying when they say how much better older men are compared to their peers?

    • Henry Vandenburgh says:

      I like much of your reply. Between marriages I dated a woman 24 years younger than me, and another 28 years younger than me. Some of the reasons younger women may prefer older men include:

      – Kindness (young men can be pretty cruel)
      -More skilled lover
      -Mentoring (this is invariably a factor)
      -Has stopped running around with male friends
      -More intreresting

      It’s hard sometimes being with a younger woman because they may be going through life stages you’re happy are over. They’re usually not as good in bed as an older woman. And less interesting.

      Both marriages and most of the relationships I’ve had have been within only a few years of age differentiation. Younger women usually leave you at some point (when the “mentoring” is over.)

      • Thanks Henry.

        At the time, I did find older men kinder and more mellow. At least kinder to me. Maybe not to women their own age? I don’t know for sure. But the older men I dated did have interesting things to say and do.

        But I do have to disagree that an older man is always a better lover. This is one area where experience doesn’t always breed more success. Not all older men are great lovers. Not all younger men are crappy lovers. Those are kind of stereotypes if you ask me. You can also always tell which men watch a lot of porn when you go with them into the bedroom.

        But now that I’m older, I’m looking for someone to relate to instead of someone to look up to. And when I was younger, I was looking for someone to look up to.

        • Henry Vandenburgh says:

          I agree that porn can be a problem. Degrading things like going far too fast all of the time, facial ejaculations, degrading language, gender unbalenced foreplay, and mandatory anal have colonized sexuality to an extent. My perception is that the younger generation is far more in thrall to this than we were (probably because porn didn’t really arrive till the eighties, and internet porn the nineties. It sort of goes with hammering studs through your cheeks and tattooing.) I would hold out for the possibility of visual erotica, which lacks these degrading aspects, and occasionally occurs in porn almost by chance. Women can be colonized by ,modern porn too– it’s not just men. One of my younger lovers had accomodated herself to this discourse, and we were mismatched sexually.

    • catullus says:

      Pauvre vous! There are bad men in this world! Pathetic.

  12. As a 25 year old woman who has a date scheduled tonight with a 40 year old man, this precise issue has been on my mind all day. When I was a teenager, I was absolutely cocky and overly excited by my newfound sexual power–I flirted vigorously with older men because I felt like boys my age couldn’t handle me. And while I’m not ashamed of it, I’m very, very lucky that nothing truly bad happened to me, because I got myself into situations that would prevent my father from ever sleeping again if he knew about them (16 years old in a bar in NYC drinking beer with a few guys from the Merchant Marines? You bet!) and looking back on it, I was in way over my head. I thank those men now for not taking advantage of my inexperience. But come to find out a few years later, 21 and living in the city, I still had to learn the hard way that I was not going to be the exception that made the 37-year-old perpetually single investment banker change his mind about his lifestyle. I wanted love, I wanted to be treated as an equal, and I couldn’t see that he didn’t see me that way–and instead of walking away from me, he hurt me very badly. While in a way I do thank him for teaching me a lesson I clearly needed to learn, I do hope men take the lesson in this piece to heart–we may be asking for it, but that doesn’t mean we’re ready for it, so if you sense that’s the case, be the bigger person, be the good man, and walk away.

    As for the current prospect, the only reason I’m going is because I have no illusions that it might work out between a divorced, and recently heartbroken once again, 40 year old and me–but since he doesn’t look a day over 30, we might be able to have a bit of fun 😉

  13. Hugo–your article is *Great* thank you!
    You have the courage to speak what most men won’t–hence their hefty doth protesting so much against your article. While your article isn’t perfect, and there are exceptions–your basic premises are solid.
    Especially the extremely selfish motives of older men when pursuing younger women–and the fact that yes–many of these young women think they’re ready or okay with it cause they’re ‘so mature’.
    Well–all of that creates a false paradigm and the fallout can be much more than just a relationship looked back on with regret–some of those turn into Lifetime movies.
    Keep up the good work.

    “…Growth itself contains the germ of happiness…” ★ 。 。★ 。 。*~ Pearl Buck ★ 。 。★ 。 。★ 。 。★

    • “You have the courage to speak what most men won’t–hence their hefty doth protesting so much against your article. ‘

      Most men? No women are saying the same thing here? You clearly haven’t read the thread. You might start with the comment directly above yours!.

      • Whether a woman, or women were or are ‘saying the same thing here’–is *irrelevant*–you understand…? Irrelevant. Also, in all your excitement Jim–there is no need to punctuate after an exclamation point, that is actually punctuation itself. Therefore your period, much like your comment, remain…irrelevant. Good Day. 。 。★ 。 。★ 。 。★

  14. Part of being a good man is matching your language to your life, matching your desires and your values. Teen girls, and teen boys, need to see the older men in their lives as trustworthy and reliable. Like it or not, in the eyes of a young woman, you’ll never be trustworthy if you’re hitting on girls her age. You’ll be a “creep” and a “perv.” And you’ll have earned those names.
    I think there is a big bit of presumption going on here.

    It seems to mandate that as a man gets older his tastes in women must be a certain (in this case being attracted to women his own age) or else he deserves to be called a creep and perv. As long as said young woman is of legal age there is nothing wrong with showing interest, as long as its done appropriately.

    That story at Amber at the beginning where the older guy commented on her tits and sped off would have still be horrible if the guy was 18 or she was 25. Why? Because that sort of behavior is plain rude (and probably falls into that category of catcalling that women point out as being bothersome).

    This isn’t about shaming adult men for doing a double-take at a cute high school cheerleader. It’s about gently reminding all of us that what looks so grown up isn’t. It’s about remembering that our libidos should be growing along with the rest of us. Most of us who are over 30 don’t have the same haircut or listen to the same music that we did when we were teens. Unless we’re the unfortunate John Derbyshire, shouldn’t we be attracted to a completely different age group than we were when we were too young to drive?
    After two pages of “if your tastes don’t change over time you deserve to be called a perv and creep” I find it odd you then try to end off with claiming this is not about shaming adult men. I myself have been attracted to older women since I was a teenager (before American Pie came started the MILF trend and made it hip to like older women). Based on your logic (that tastes in women must change over time simply because we get older over time) my attraction to older women should have changed. But it hasn’t.

    An age gap doesn’t (or at least shouldn’t) make one a creep (cuz I sure as hell haven’t heard about anyone calling cougars creeps, in fact they are being celebrated by the very people taht would yell creep if the ages were swapped). What makes them a creep is pusuing someone even after said someone has show disinterest and inappropriate behavior (I’m pretty sure most women would not appreciate a guy just walking up to them and asking for a blowjob, stuff like that).

    • The slur “cougars” implies a predatory intent, no?

      • But apparently its a good sort of predatory when used in this context. Somehow when its older women its okay but when its older men its disgusting.

        • Maybe some people see it as a “good sort of predatory.” I think many people don’t – myself for example (and I’m nearing “cougar” age and income, etc).

          I don’t mind if people want to play power or predatory games in sex/relating if they are in an otherwise equal relationship; it can be very fun actually.

          The problem is that these are sometimes not equal relationships.

          • I think there’s more than one may think that believe that it is a good type of predatory behavior. Namely that such women are often portrayed as being sexually free, finally able to do what they want and have what they want. Personally I don’t care for the label not only because of predatory nature of it but also because of the cultural implications of it.

            Like I said thanks to the likes of American Pie its not just okay to be attracted to older women but its actually trendy and hip to be attracted to older women (although I wonder how okay it will be once the cultural coolness has worn off). You see I’m of just barely enough age to recall when talking about being sexually attracted to older women (and just to establish by older I’m not talking I’m 16 and she’s 25, I’m talking I’m 16 and she’s 50) was call for teasing. But now a whole subgenre of porn has developed around the cultural hipness of MILFs and cougars (who seem to be getting younger and younger I might add, thus almost defeating the point).

            • I think the term “cougar” is just another way to label women. Another name. No different then calling us sluts, MILFS…etc etc. They all have the same end result. To portray a one deminsional view of a woman. I don’t consider “cougar” a positive. And when I’m older, I certainly don’t want to be called one just because I still express a sex drive.

            • catullus says:

              Resist the urge to refer to older men as “creeps” and “pervs” and you may just avoid being called a name you don’t like. Simple, no?

            • I think the term “cougar” is just another way to label women. Another name. No different then calling us sluts, MILFS…etc etc.
              I’m not so sure about that if for no other reason than I’ve never seen women actively taking on the title slut or creating sub categories (like cubs, cougars in training, etc…). I think I ever recall an article from a about year ago where there were workshops on how to be a cougar. Even if you don’t like there is definitely at least an attempt at putting a positive spin on it.

              And when I’m older, I certainly don’t want to be called one just because I still express a sex drive.
              And yet that is precisely what Hugo does to men by saying that being attracted to younger women warrants being called a perv or creep.

            • That is not *at all* ‘precisely’ what he’s saying. Having a sex drive is one thing–it’s about the appropriate use and energy and direction of said sex drive. She was saying when she’s older she’ll still have a sex drive–not that she will do what men do (some men) and selfishly pursue young, innocent girls. Also, there is a difference in being attracted and acting out.

      • An implication of predatory intent is not quite in the same league with explicitly calling someone a creep. Is it?

    • “An age gap doesn’t (or at least shouldn’t) make one a creep (cuz I sure as hell haven’t heard about anyone calling cougars creeps, in fact they are being celebrated by the very people taht would yell creep if the ages were swapped).”

      Possibly because, as has been displayed in comments on other articles in this blog and others (eg., “Why Does It Matter How Many Partners She’s Had?”), females are still valued for their youthful sexiness combined with a lack of sexuality/sexual experience (this lack of sexual experience somehow being equated to fidelity) whereas men are valued for pretty much everything else plus an almost excess of sexual experience/prowess. When a female is older (at an age where one can pretty well predict that she’s had sexual experience), her value no longer lies in her lack of sexual experience but in the sexual experience that she can bestow upon a younger man, thus increasing his value in the sex department and quite possibly his confidence with women now that he has gained some experience.
      It doesn’t work out quite the same way in the older man/younger woman scenario when a long-term relationship is not what’s in play.

      Is it fair that older men are viewed as creeps when pursuing younger women and not older women when pursuing younger men (the cougar phenomenon)? No, it’s not, but neither is the difference in the way males and females are valued or devalued based on their sexuality (or lack thereof).

  15. Tucker FitzGerald says:

    Our capacity to narcissistically rage at strangers in internet comments sections never ceases to astound me :)

    The fray about how conservative gender roles may be impacting Schwizer’s article is beyond my wisdom. I suspect there’s something to that red flag though.

    HOWEVER, what I find beautiful is his insight that “younger [lovers often] lack the experience and wisdom to call their older lovers on their bullshit.” And his call at the end for men in their 30’s, 40s, 50’s to find some way to be in relationships with women in their teens and 20’s that isn’t sexually charged or predatory is beautiful.

    Our culture’s entitlement of men to rework a relationship with any woman into some sexually-charged fantasy is not only violent and traumatizing to women who don’t consent to the objectification and unwanted drive-by-sexuality, it also allows men to permanently hide in a 16-year-old self, not having to do the difficult work of growing and working alongside the accountability and companionship of women their own age.

    “It’s about remembering that our libidos should be growing along with the rest of us.”

    • Catullus says:

      But that’s just it, Tucker. We’re already in relationships with teens and 20-somethings that aren’t sexually charged and predatory. You know that. You probably also know that taking exception to a craftily-fashioned slur against men of a certain age isn’t “narcissistic[…] rage at strangers in internet comments.”

    • “Our culture’s entitlement of men to rework a relationship with any woman into some sexually-charged fantasy is not only violent and traumatizing to women who don’t consent to the objectification and unwanted drive-by-sexuality,”

      “sexually-charged fantasy ”

      Ha ha ha. Clearly you’ve never been married!

  16. Funny how this “women have agency – don’t condescend or infantilize them” line always gets conveniently trotted out by some men with regard to the young women (or girls!) consenting to sex but not with regard to recognizing their economic autonomy, political rights, or their needs for empathic, non-exploitative mentoring just like young men (or boys) need.

    • Tirnasaor says:

      Calling someone a pedophile doesn’t constitute an argument outside of feminist forums.

      You are not gender neutral, you are just paying lip service to it now.

      You patronise, infantilise and frighten young women while demonising men, for a living, as your student suggested, when you obtain sex from your students on that basis, you are obtaining sex by deception.

      • I disagree with Hugo on a lot of issues, but I’ve never seen anything that indicates he sleeps with his students. I’m getting pretty damned sick and tired of hearing people whine about ad hominems and deception and then seeing them let loose with crap like this.

        • Catullus says:

          Hugo has written on his blog about affairs he had with a few students early in his career. I don’t doubt that he is faithful to his current fourth wife. I do think his perceptions of relationships between older men and younger women are colored by and in part a mea culpa for past indiscretions. His religious conversion happened after these affairs.

          • Yeah. The accusations, however, are that he is doing this NOW. And while I agree that Hugo’s new-found relationship with God and thge guilt that his chosen religion creates re: matters sexual definitely needs to be taken into consideration when reading his pieces, that’s no excuse to accuse the man of abusing his teacher/student realtionships, nor is it callfor veiled accusations that he’s a pedophile.

            • Alister says:

              I don’t think anyone implied that Hugo is a pedophile, I think that he is leveling the veiled accusation at others. And the student that is making these allegations about him and his female students came forward very recently, as I understand it just days before this article was published.

            • A student of his came forward? That’s not at all what I hear. I would like to see some proof of that, please.

            • Alister says:

              Strangers on the internet are going to be less likely to fetch things for you if you speak to them in that tone and treat them as if they are dishonest, besides the channel that the student contacted was mentioned early on in the thread.

    • assman says:

      “or their needs for empathic, non-exploitative mentoring just like young men (or boys) need.”

      I thought they have agency. So how can you presume to tell us what they need? Are you speaking for them. Please speak for yourself.

  17. The debate that’s raging here is sort of… well, entirely typical of debates that tend to rage on any given internet news site or blog. Everyone has their own experiences that shape their opinions. And I get that. My own experiences were this: starting at 9, I started developing. I was a D cup by 13, and hideously embarrassed by this. I wore baggy clothing, XL t-shirts, etc. I felt like I was doing a dandy job in camouflaging myself. Of course, I was totally naive. I was 13. Of course I was sure a big hoodie was all it’d take. At 13, I was at the supermarket with my parents, leaning on the cart, bored. They’d walked over to the more crowded butcher section a few feet over, so I stayed with the cart. The moment my parents were out of earshot, two men, well into their 30s at least leaned over and said “You think you’re sexy, don’t you” and I straightened up, immediately, bewildered. I was wearing shorts about 2 inches over my knees, a t-shirt, and Keds. I was routinely called ugly at school by my peers, and certainly didn’t think anything was sexy. Embarrassed, I walked away. I caught them leering at me at the end of a couple of aisles, even when I was with my parents. I think the thing is, it wasn’t anything to do with my physical appearance, it was that these douches got their rocks off on saying something lewd to a very underage girl. You can safely assume most 13 year olds are incredibly insecure, and I think my embarrassment and shame–which I already was harboring about my body–was essentially all they wanted.

    I had 25 year old men ask about how “fat” my pussy was while riding down an escalator at the mall at 14; at 16 I was an extra in a movie and alternately had a few older men joking about my breast size, and one man around 50 awkwardly lavish compliments on me, and even offering me his business card to come “visit him”. I was well aware of how gross all of this was and had by this point taken to saying things like “I’m only 16/I could be your daughter”, and that just invited more attention.

    By the time I was 18, all of it stopped. I became an attractive young woman, not an awkward, unsure of herself child. And I wasn’t of any interest to men older than me. It’s like someone waved a wand.

    • catullus says:

      No one waved a wand. Come on, were you any less buxom at 18 than at 16?? It’s absurd.

      No one waved a wand. Most of us men understand and practice self-control. We can’t really help the fact that some of us are assholes. We don’t expect women to do something about those women who are assholes, either.

      • You miss the point here. She was targeted for her vulnerability. Precisely when she became a legal adult the ‘lure’ of doing something nasty wasn’t there anymore.

        • Catullus says:

          Girls are targeted for vulnerability, but these men would have to possess one uncanny faculty of discernment if they can tell an 18-year old from a 16-year old.

          • Or a 25 year old from a 16 year old, for that matter.

            That was one of the things bothering me about these constant “when I turned 18, the harassment stopped” testimonials, too.

            Here’s an alternative explanation: when you turned 18, society began seeing you as an adult and you were thus allowed to decide for yourself about sexual matters without feeling you were violating rules. It thus became much easier for you to simply tune the creepy jerks out.

  18. I think there’s something to be said for allowing young women (and men!) the opportunity to mature with their peer group. Regardless of how immature we might think our generation is, I was incredibly lucky to meet a man at 18 who was only a year older than men, and thus roughly at the same place I was in life: never had a relationship, unsure of our individual futures in terms of study and work, same sort of friendship turmoils and family dramas. Eight years later, I think it’s paid off.

    It has been truly lovely to be able to share those life milestones with each other at around the same time; graduating from uni, getting full-time jobs, and buying a house together at roughly the same stage in life.We can appreciate the stress these things put on our lives and because we’re going through it together, it really creates a sense of empathy that might otherwise be lacking if you have to impatiently wait for your partner to finish college at 23, even if you’re in your late thirties and have an established business and work profile.

    • catullus says:

      Allowing the young to date the young?? How is this not allowed? The world is not a giant FLDS compound, despite what Hugo Schwyzer and his fans seem to think.

  19. I see several things conflated together in the article and in the comments: lusting after younger women, harassing them, asking them out, and dating them. These are not all the same thing. They may be on some sort of continuum, but it’s quite a long stretch between the guy in the car harassing a 12-year-old and Sean Penn dating Scarlett Johansson. (I admit I don’t know the details of their relationship, so I’m making some assumptions here.)

    I think one of Hugo’s central points is quite valid, that when an older man shows romantic interest in a much younger woman, she may not be as flattered as he thinks she will be. She may feel a little creeped out by the attention. What a man thinks of as friendly may be something that a woman sees as predatory. I can buy that. It makes sense to me, but the article makes this a very overstated point. I get the sense that Hugo and his students see an older man’s interest in a younger woman as inherently exploitative and predatory, simply by its very nature. That seems extreme to me.

    As far as sampling goes, from what I know about Women’s Studies courses at my school, Hugo’s students may not be a good cross-section of women’s experiences, not even young college-aged women. Such an elective tends to attract people with similar outlooks and experiences, even common axes to grind. (I teach some controversial subjects as well, so I’m very familiar with student cadres who join a class with battles to fight.)

    Another valid point in the article is looking at the conclusions that many women come to when they see men’s behavior. Many women are hearing very negative messages about men and are coming to really negative conclusions about them (and about ALL men!). It’s good to hear the points of view of people such as Amber. However, perception isn’t reality. It’s crucial to honor one’s feelings, but a feeling is not a conclusion. It’s a shame that she has come to make an absolute judgment about all men. Is it some men’s fault that she thinks this way about men? Certainly. Does that mean she’s perfectly justified in holding onto a stereotype about half the world’s population? I don’t think so.

    I don’t think the article calls for infantilizing young women, exactly, but it does suggest, that older men should be very careful with younger women, suggesting that older men have some kind of mentoring responsibility. I can buy that a little, too, but only up to a point. At a certain point an adult has to take responsibility for his/her own disappointment in a relationship. If a relationship with an older man disappoints you, it’s unfair to blame all men, and in fact the age difference may not have been the most important factor.

    At the risk of sounding like a hairsplitter, if there is some general theory about older men preying upon younger women and age difference is a crucial factor, then can someone (expert or not) give me a good algorithm or chart to use? When is the man too old for her? Presumably it’s a sliding scale relative to her age, as someone mentioned – I’m guessing there’s no problem here with a 35 year old woman and a 50 year old man.

    • catullus says:

      You won’t get this algorithm, at least not from Hugo. His aim is to make men ashamed they feel any attraction to younger women. The fact that most of us won’t act on the attraction doesn’t matter to him. It doesn’t matter to his supporters, either.

  20. What blows me away is the repeatedly expressed belief that older men can somehow “hurt” younger woman more than younger men. Where’s the proof for this, exactly?

    It’s interesting, because several of the female posters above seem to claim that there’s some sort of hegemonic female position on this issue, but so far the women who’ve weighed in to complain about their older male boyfriends have been all over the board in terms of describing their attitudes. Erin says she feels taken advantage of. Another poster claims that older men are kinder and calmer and her complaint is that this didn’t prepare her for guys her age. A wholes slew of posters seem to mistake dating an older person with receiving rude and sexist comments from an older person (and don’t bother to explain why this is necessarily worse when it comes from a 50 year old rather than a 20 year old… ageism, perhaps?)

    • When i was under 25, i knew full well a woman in her 30s & beyond. had vastly superior life experience. And that the subsequent power differential was vast.

      I still went after older women, & at 25 had a 3yr relationship with a woman 20yrs older than i.

      So im surprised that these women believed that they were close to being the mental equals of these older men.
      How could they arrive at such a thought.

      And if young women over18 need extraprotection from themselves. Doesnt that infantilise them?

    • Catullus says:

      The real aim of the Schwyzer-Marcotte-Valenti axis in feminism, aside from earning a crust, is to drive home two ideas. First, the problem with women is men. Second, men don’t really deserve women. They’re the heirs to the Dworkin-MacKinnon-Morgan axis. It can be difficult to remember most feminists are closer in outlook to Laura Kipnis than Hugo, but it’s true. Thank God for that.

  21. Hugo Schwyzer says:

    I think that the appropriateness of consensual relationships between young adult women (over 18) and older men shifts based on the age of the younger partner. Frankly, I’m not much concerned when a 35 year-old woman dates a 60 year-old man. But when a 20 year-old woman is in a relationship with a 35 year-old, even though the age difference is less, I am troubled. With teens, anything more than a few years (5<) is problematic. Full brain development doesn't finish until 25 or so (car rental companies are on to something), so in general my hostility to age-disparate relationships diminishes after the younger partner hits that milestone.

    A related issue, of course, is not just he impact on young women — but on older women who are ignored and passed over (like Sean's barista's mom) because of the cultural fetishization of youth. That's part of the dialogue as well.

    • Full brain development doesn’t finish until 25 or so (car rental companies are on to something), so in general my hostility to age-disparate relationships diminishes after the younger partner hits that milestone.

      Jeezis, way to toss the bio-determinism in there, Hugo! And that’s really interesting, especially after citing Cordelia Fine’s book as a main source of your argument. “Full brain development doesn’t finish until 25 or so”…? What would fine make of that sort of statement, I wonder? As if we had some reasonable measuring stick for what “full brain development” is, not to mention a way of tying this into emotional maturity, which seems to be the main point of what you’re talking about here.

      what it somes down to, Hugo, is that you’re simply pulling arbitrary ages out of your hat and trying to make these ages look as if they were engraved in biology by mother nature or God or whatever transhuman predestination force you’re into this week.

      Frankly, I think you’re just casting about for any scientific-seeming argument you can find to hang your prejudices on. That’s the only possible explanation for why someone who claims to take Fine seriously would make statement about “brain development” to support their argument.

      You’re really reaching, man.

    • A related issue, of course, is not just he impact on young women — but on older women who are ignored and passed over (like Sean’s barista’s mom) because of the cultural fetishization of youth.

      It is difficult to feel sorry for older women when they seem to have no problem fetishizing young men and boys. Many older women look for their own boy toys, and quite often they literally look for boys. As several men have stated in the comments, there are plenty of older women who act on those interests. It is not like there is a dearth of older women fawning over barely legal boys. Granted, no one regards older woman as “creeps” or “perverts”.

      • No, they’re mostly regarded as pathetic and desperate.

        • Which is a characterization of older men that is much more ubiquitous than Hugo and his ilk are willing and indeed able to admit.

        • Please. Older women that go for younger men are cast in a positive light that that is rarely shed on older men going for younger women.

          Those older women are often said to be sexually free, going for what they want, defying the stereotypes, etc… On the other hand older men are regarded as pervs and creeps for simply being attracted to younger women (which is just what Hugo is doing in this post) regardless of their behavior.

          • I think the reason there is any romanticizing of older women who pursue younger men is just because it is relatively small amount of women who do this compared to men who do it so it is a type of “cultural revenge” not only for dumped or ignored older women but also for young women who miss out on reaching adulthood because they are delayed (or completely arrested if they have a child) with this type of relationship and children of men who abandon their families in this way.

            When older women do this with men who are not age 24 or so, they are often culturally shamed for it. See the treatment of Hulk Hogan’s ex-wife, for example, compared to the treatment of Donald Trump or someone like that.

      • “Many older women look for their own boy toys, and quite often they literally look for boys. As several men have stated in the comments, there are plenty of older women who act on those interests. It is not like there is a dearth of older women fawning over barely legal boys.”

        This is completely fabricated.

        Many popular dating sites (OKCupid for example) have done analysis and showed that in fact women do not pursue men much younger than them. Men on the other hand, almost uniformly look for women younger than them.

        • I guess all of these 30 and 40 year old women that keep getting busted with 12 to 15 year old boys (and then given a slap on the wrist compared to the years a man would get) were just made-up stories then.

          • In the last 10 years I’ve seen only 3-4 news stories about female teachers consorting with students.

            It makes the news because it’s rare.

            So what do you mean by ‘all these’… are you comparing it to the number of men over 21 who have sex with women under 18? If that is the case… there is no comparison.

        • Many popular dating sites (OKCupid for example) have done analysis and showed that in fact women do not pursue men much younger than them.

          I would like to see that report.

          This is completely fabricated.

          Of course it is. That is why there are no popular cougar dating sites. That is why there are no media reports about older woman/younger man dynamic, the clubs and bars that cater to those crowds, or the insane amount of marketing geared towards exploiting the dynamic.

          • Show me a cougar site that is as popular as a mainstream like Match.com, Eharmony, Okcupid, or such.

            You can’t.

            In fact, I’d say even those weird sugar daddy sites out number your ‘cougar’ site anyday.

            • You did not ask for proof of popularity. You argued that there are no women interested in younger men. The existence of cougar dating sites like Cougars.com proves that wrong. If you want to retract your previous assertion, fine. However, you do not get to move the goal post.

    • Very interesting post. I do think after a certain point, age ceases to matter. Why should the age of two people clearly in love hinder that love?

      Then again, I think maturity often happens after a certain point, and that point tends to be beyond 20 years old.

      Complex issue…

  22. This is a joke, like a feminist forum, the ban and delete facility is used as a means of censorship.

  23. Wow. I wish I could anonymously forward this to just about every dirty old man I messed with in my early 20s! It is totally true about 30 something year old women remembering our actions and choices differently.

    Older men are more socially sophisticated, and can really put a young woman on some head-trips. Ya, the seduction and orgasms were real, the sex was great, but afterwards the feeling of having been “taken” was awful. Atleast guys my age were more on my level, and feeling used and unappreciated afterwards never had the creep factor nor the “I was such a sellout” regretful feelings that the 2 or 3 flings with much older men did.

    … and, being in my mid-30s, I repeated the exact same mistake with a smooth 60 something who like the other dirty old men also pretended to have a genuine interest in helping me succeed and in my personal growth. It feels the same at 35 as it did at 22- like they were using the wisdom/sophistication that comes with age and their power to get laid/egos stroked/validation and their other needs met.

    • Forgive me, me, but it sounds like what you’re saying is that you felt “taken advantage of” by the men you had sex with, regardless of their age.

      Furthermore, you went on to make the same mistakes in your 30s. I would suggest that the problem has more to do with the kind of guy you seem to be attracted to than with age per se.

    • As Thaddeus says, it seems like you’re not willing to consider that you have a pattern. “Early 20s”? Hugo is talking about men treating children and teenagers as the Sexy Ideal. A 30something is a little beyond the age where it’s creepy for a grown man to find her attractive.

      • Is this why Hugo’s one example, aside from his friend, is Scarlett Johanssen and Sean Penn rather than Warren Jeffs and virtually anyone with a XX chromosone structure within Jeffs’ sights?

    • Sounds like you had some bad experiences. Sorry to hear it. However, at 20something, you should be old enough to take responsibility for your own actions – especially for repeating bad decisions. The right to disclaim responsibility by blaming creepy old men runs out at some point.

  24. I have always been very well aware of men who leer since I was around 10. It has also happened to my two daughters. It isn’t hard to figure out what they are leering at and why. I learned to never trust men who were older based on a few bad experiences by those who were scum and by the ones who didn’t go any further than leering. Just the same it made me very uncomfortable as a girl who just wanted to be a girl having fun. It took the fun out of being a girl for me.

  25. This is an interesting topic to me because I had two relationships with older men when I was in my 20’s. One man was 12 years older, the other was 20 years older. Now, looking back from the perspective of middle age, I realize that I had serious “daddy issues”. I was seeking love and approval from a father figure to make up for my own father’s serious failings in that department. My father was verbally abusive and often absent during my childhood. He and I had a terrible relationship during my adolescence. As a result, I looked for male affection, approval and mentoring from older guys. Both of my relationships started out as mentoring friendships that turned sexual. I recall experiencing a deep sense of disappointment when I realized that these men did not truly care about me but saw me only as a way to inflate their own egos and recapture their youth by being with a younger woman. They were always commenting on my age, telling me their friends were jealous and so on. I felt like they related to me as a “type” — a “younger woman” — rather than as a person with my own perspective and needs. Ironically, the man 20 years my senior eventually broke up with me because he said our generational differences were too great and he wanted to be with someone in the same stage of life. My other relationship lasted 8 years and I finally ended it because he wouldn’t make a commitment (even after 8 years, he saw our relationship as a fling with a younger woman) and I realized it was holding me back from finding a relationship that would really make me happy.

    In retrospect I don’t feel that I was exploited or that these guys were pervy — I really did care about them — but I’m just sorry I wasted my time.

    The author also mentions young women being creeped out by attention from older guys, and, yes, that does happen, more than guys ever realize. But it’s not restricted to older guys-younger women. Being the subject of unwanted sexual attention is creepy and men usually have no idea of how poorly they come across.

    • Oh one other thing I wanted to say (mainly a side note to this discussion) is that I get so tired of all the evo-psych explanations, I.e. men want fertile females with the proper hip to waist ratio, women want to “marry up” because they need a male to support offspring, etc. Although these theories may have a grain of truth in some respects (though even that is debatable), they totally ignore the powerful influence of individual psychology, as well as culture and social conditioning. Richard Dawkins himself has complained about his evolutionary theories being misunderstood and mis-used as a social Darwinist justification for selfish behavior.

      • Sarah that was so well said! And i agree with alot of what you had to say and could relate to some of your own experiences.

      • I agree regarding ev-psych, Sarah. It’s amazing to me that people regard that mass of poorly thought-out hypotheses as a serious science. There may indeed be some some serious ev-psych people, but their work is being hidden by a larger mass of folks who seem to want to find determinist explanations for the mythological social behaviors of the U.S. in the 1950s.

        And people accuse anthropology of being a soft science! If there’s one thing that anthros are trained to do, it’s to reflexively question the roots of their presumptions. It seems to me that ev-psych could learn a lot from that… if they hadn’t simply dismissed anthropology as “irrelevant”.

        Regarding your experiences with older men, you say: “In retrospect I don’t feel that I was exploited or that these guys were pervy — I really did care about them — but I’m just sorry I wasted my time.”

        OK, granted. But Sarah, that’s the way I feel about almost every relationship I had when I was in my early twenties. How does age make a qualitative difference there? That’s my question. When I listen to women talk about the relationships they had in their late teens and early twenties, my impression is that these were not relationships full of caring and great mutual understanding. They sound mostly like callow relationships based on sex, irregardless of the age of the partners.

        So that’s my question. Given that young women (and men) seem to pretty much make universally bad partner choices in their 20s, based on what, exactly, are we entitled to blame this on age differences?

        Hugo himself married three times before his mid-30s, I believe. Now, maybe Hugo thinks that’s because his brain hadn’t physically matured enough. I believe it’s because he made bad choices. And I believe that the only way to learn how to make good choices is through bad choices. That is why Hugo stopped using booze and drugs and that is why he now is in a stable and fulfilling relationship: not because his brain went through some sort of generic physical maturing process.

        And this is why I think Hugo is infantilizing women here. I thing that it’s actually part of a general trend in American culture to infantilize young people, in general. Frankly, you guys are one of the few peoples in the world who can AFFORD to give kids a protracted adolescence and now you seem to feel, as a society, that even that adolescence isn’t long enough. I would not at all be surprised if, in the next 50 years, we see American courts constructing another legal class of citizen between the ages of 20 and 30. When that happens, I expect to see social engineers like Hugo applauding the move as “necessary for the protection of young women”.

        (One sometimes wonders whether certain people wouldn’t be happier just returning to the legal structures of the Victorian era, where it was presumed that young women were incompetent without proper adult supervision. But I digress.)

        But what’s bothersome to me is how many Americans – like Hugo and the men he criticizes – seem to want to naturalize this cultural choice. Here in Brazil, the legal age of consent is 14. The legal age for voting is 16. Our society doesn’t seem to be suffering because of this and – based on my anecdotal experiences watching American and Brazilian university students at play – I find our late teens and early twenties to be MUCH more mature than yours.

        I submit to you that this is because Brazilian culture starts giving youth REAL decision-making power from late adolescence on. By the time that you’re 18, you are EXPECTED to be acting like an adult and not like a frat boy on spring break. And sure, lack of experience means that these young adults make many mistakes. But the real responsibility that they have makes sure that they learn from them.

        I’d be interested to know how many young adults drank themselves to death or committed suicide or died doing stupid booze tricks last year in the University of California system where Hugo works. This year, our incoming freshmen here at UFRJ Macaé put in thousands of hours of volunteer time helping communities in the surrounding mountains recover from the disastrous floods of February.

        Frankly, I do not believe that the best way to make better adults is to keep the training wheels on well into their 30s.

        Hugo apparently thinks differently.

        • As a 22-year-old American college student, I agree with your perspective on adulthood and responsibility completely.

          However, I do think there is a real, qualitative difference between two twenty-somethings bumbling through a bad relationship, learning from their mistakes, and a 50-something deliberately exploiting the youthful incompetence of a twenty-something to coerce them into making bad decisions.

          It’s a well, well established fact that when older men have sex with younger women, they very rarely use condoms or any other kind of birth control. The majority of teenage pregnancies are caused by older men who vanish as soon as the pregnancy occurs–knowing that a teenager won’t understand the legal system well enough to track them down for child support or help obtaining an abortion.

          Unwanted pregnancies and STDs can be a consequence of two young people bumbling through a bad relationship, it is true. But an unwanted pregnancy due to an honest mistake and an unwanted pregnancy due to deliberate lying and manipulating really are different.

          • Catullus says:

            And since the irresponsibility of older men is ‘a well, well established fact,’ it should be child’s play (no pun intended) for you to supply empirical verification that these guys who refrain from using condoms are, say, typically five years or more older than the women they impregnate. Or hey, maybe you really are just wasting the money of your parents and some hapless bank getting a university degree.

          • Catullus says:

            Just as I surmised. According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, the mean difference between pregnant teens and the men who impregnated them was three years, with the man being older. In other words, the typical teen pregnancy scenario is Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston, not Oona O’Neill and Charlie Chaplin. At least O’Neill and Chaplin, unlike Palin and Johnston, got and stayed happily married, not that I unreservedly approve of 18-year old girls marrying 54-year old men.

            Care to restate some facts, Julia?

          • Julia sez:

            However, I do think there is a real, qualitative difference between two twenty-somethings bumbling through a bad relationship, learning from their mistakes, and a 50-something deliberately exploiting the youthful incompetence of a twenty-something to coerce them into making bad decisions.

            I agree. But let’s restate that in light of the information Cat broight up (to wit, the age difference in teen pregnancy is an average of three years – which puts it right in your two “twenty somethings” example). Would you say that there’s a qualitative difference between two twenty-somethings bumbling through a bad relationship, learning from their mistakes, and a 20-something deliberately exploiting the youthful incompetence of another twenty-something to coerce them into making bad decisions?

            Because it seems to me that we’re talking more about experience and manipulation rather than age here.

        • You say you live in Brazil … but have you been in the favelas? Gang violence, murder, rape, drugs, and widespread poverty.

          I’d not hold up Brazil as this model to the world considering how many social problems they have.

          Also, less college age people in Brazil go to college than in America. It’s still a very elite institution. You might be ‘exceptionalizing’ your students.

          You mention volunteering as a measure of ‘maturity’ which I find odd because kids all the way to adults can ‘volunteer.’ Plenty of American youth volunteer all the time.

          • Kyle, what do you know about Brazil other than what you’ve seen on T.V. or the internet in English? Have you lived in a favela? Have you even ever been to Brazil?

            I ask, because you seem to be making some incredibly blanket and prejudiced statements regarding favelas – statements that, to any Brazilian urban anthropologist, shine out like a red light saying “This guy knows next to nothing about favelas”.

            First of all, a “favela”, properly speaking, is simply a community that has been illegally built on squatted land. There are good favelas and bad favelas, comfortable favelas and squallid favelas, safe favelas and dangerous favelas – even poor favelas and relatively well-to-do favelas. Most gringos who know anything about favelas in Rio have seen a film called “City of God”. They’re generally shocked to learn that much City of God isn’t a favela at all, but a housing project. In fact, this is well demonstrated in the film, but I suppose that people stop paying attention when the word “favela” is trotted out.

            Some of the worst neighborhoods here in Rio are not favelas and some of the safest and calmest are. So when you chide me about “the favelas” and how they are supposedly synonymous with violence and poverty, what it really shows is your lack of understanding regarding what a favela IS.

            Now, yes, there is a lot of violence and poverty in the favelas – as there is in almost EVERY community in Brazil, whether it is a favela or not. Not much of this violence is specifically directed against women, however. The overall murder rate in Brazil ranges from 20 to 40 murders per 100,000 population per annum. The murder rate for WOMEN, however, is 4 per 100,000 – less than the U.S.’ annual murder rate. MRAs actually have a better complaint re: Brazilian violence than feminists.

            So your point here is…?

            I’d not hold up Brazil as this model to the world considering how many social problems they have.

            Far be it for me to hold Brazil up to the world as a model for anyone, but I think your view that the country should be dismissed because of its social problems is rather prejudiced and more than a bit uninformed. You should ask yourself “How is Brazil dealing with its social problems? Is poverty increasing or decreasing in Brazil? Are there more or fewer opportunities for the people there than there were 20 years ago? Are laws improving or getting worse?” When you ask these questions and compare the answers to the same for the U.S., Brazil comes out looking a hell of a lot better.

            What I’d say is this:

            Even though we are much less wealthy than the U.S. and suffered through twenty-years of U.S.-supported dictators who entrenched corruption and disrespect for the law, we are actually meeting our social problems head on and REDUCING them. The U.S., with all its power and wealth, certainly can’t say the same.

            Not bad for a poor and violent country, huh?

            Finally, you say…

            Also, less college age people in Brazil go to college than in America. It’s still a very elite institution. You might be ‘exceptionalizing’ your students.

            This may be news to you, Kyle, but only our Federal system is considered “elite” (along with a handful of state and private institutiuons). The VAST majority of our university students attend private institutions which draw their student body from the lower middle and working classes. I worked for one of these institutiuons for five years: UNISUAM, in Bonsuccesso in Rio de Janeiro. This school was located smack in the middle between the Favela do Maré and the Complexo do Alemão, two of the city’s most notoriously violent favelas. This area is called “The Gaza Strip” in carioca parlance, because of its constant violence. (Here’s a song and a video about it, which I’m sure you’ll understand because – scholar of things Brazilian that you are – you speak Portuguese, right? http://letras.terra.com.br/mc-orelha/1564766/).

            On a half-dozen separate occasions while I worked there, UNISUAM was closed down to due to gunbattles between the neighbors. A good third of my students came from the favelas on Federal social inclusion scholarships.

            Today, I’m blessed to be working in the federal system. Still, at least 20% of my students come from poor and working class communities, many of them favelas.

            So no, Kyle, the majority of our university system isn’t made up of the elite. And even if it was, what would that prove? Are you claiming that the sons and daughters of the elite behave better than those of the hoi polloi? I mean, surely this is the lesson we can take from the American Greek system, right? After all, sororities and fraternities are chock-o-block full of elite kiddies and one rarely hears any complaints regarding their behavior in the American press…. Right?

            You mention volunteering as a measure of ‘maturity’ which I find odd because kids all the way to adults can ‘volunteer.’ Plenty of American youth volunteer all the time.

            The “volunteering” isn’t the whole of it, not by a long shot, Kyle. But yeah, you’re right: freshman entry week at most big American schools is positively synonymous with the volunteering spirit. Why, I remember when I was an undergrad at UW Madison in the 1980s: the freshman class would ban together every year to refurbish homes in the Milwaukee ghetto. It was quite the big affair. And, of course, that public spiritedness paid off big dividends in terms of American politics today, which is why your nation is synonymous, worldwide, with social justice, equality, fairness and increasing opportunities for your poorer citizens.

            Please, man. If you’re going to talk about Brazil – and especially if you’re going to dismiss the country as a poor, violence-ridden hell hole, as you seem to be doing – then get you facts straight and learn a bit about the country from sources that are a bit more dense than Wikipedia and Fox News.

            • Your mention of all the gang violence proves *my* point… not yours. And you haven’t refuted the fact that less people go to college (which is why it’s still an elite institution… despite the scholarship programs at the college you teach.) It’s still a pretty narrow gateway to upper class life.

              Yes, I know that favelas are squatter towns… and that government projects are bad in pretty much every country in the world. Doesn’t change the fact that Brazil’s major cities are literally flanked on all sides by these tin roof shantytowns that go on for miles. You miss out on the reason there are good favelas because social programs and foreign aid come into to fix them but cannot cover all the territory. Don’t get me started on racism in Brazil, bro. Something tells me you are like the people in recent polls that have shown that while almost 90% of Brazilians say their society is racist only 10% admit having any racial prejudice.

              Your head is buried in the sand.

            • Kyle, seriously: what the hell do you know about Brazil? Do you even speak Portuguese?

              I’d like to know, because you seem to have some real rank prejudices regarding Brazil and things Brazilian and I’m wondering where they come from.

              You’re original point is QUITE prejudiced and has nothing to do with there being violence in the favelas. You seem to be claiming that favelas are synonymous with violence. That is most definitely not the case. Some favelas are violent, others aren’t. So the only possible explanation for why you think my description of the Gaza Strip “proves” your point is that you believe all favelas are alike. You think, for example, o Complexo do Alemão is substantially the same thing as, say, Tavares Bastos.

              That is pure prejudice wrapped in ignorance, friend, and all the progressive political posturing about racism and social justice that you’re doing doesn’t change that fact one single bit.

              But what really amuses me is how your prejudices contradict each other.

              You start off by claimingn that Brazilian universities are “eltie instittuions” and you hold to this even when a person who’s actually TAUGHT in Brazilian universities for a decade tells you that isn’t true, that most of them aren’t.

              Why is it important, rhetorically speaking, for you to see all our schools as nests of the elite? Because your argument is that elite kids are somehow better behaved and more socially conscious than non-elite kids,m and this explains why American schools – democratic institutions of the hoi polloi that they are – are full of drunken, alienated students while our students here in Brazil seem to be doing better.

              But then you go and bite that argument square on the ass with your ridiculous claim that Brazilians “have their heads buried in the sand” when it comes to social justice, because of a poll taken in the 1980s (thirty years ago isn’t “recent” Kyle) regarding racism.

              So what is it, Kyle? Are our elites swinish racist pigs or socially responsible sons and daughters of the boojwahzee?

              Can’t have it both ways, man. 😀

            • Kyle, you might profit from looking at this trope over on wikitropes. You seem to believe most of the ones regarding favelas, at any rate….


      • Catullus says:

        I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the yo-yos at the Heritage Foundation invented EP in stealth.

        • Henry Vandenburgh says:

          I’m a left liberal, and I think EP is one factor that drives human behavior, not the sole one. I do have some conservative beliefs, however. E.g., I’m pro second ammendment.

          • Hey Henry, I asked you this before, but weren’t you once a TA at the U.W. Madison?

            • Henry Vandenburgh says:

              No, Thad. That was a guy named Henry Vandenberg. My name is Henry Vandenburgh. He and I are probably related, because our family originated with a similar name in Rensaleer, NY in 1640. (van den hoge berghe) I’m from Redondo Beach, CA, and was born in 1945. My MA is from UC, Irvine (1982) and my PhD is from University of Texas, Austin (1996.) Never went to Madison.

            • Ahn. Thanks for clearing that up. I was almost certain you were an old TA of mine from back in the 1980s.

          • I’m a historian and social scientist. When I compare the paucity of proof which back up typical EP claims to the vast and varied proof regarding the ideological roots of biodeterminism and how, time after time, biodeterminist claims have been widely accpeted as “scientific” only to be shot down in flames, it seems to me that it’s more logical and resonable to reject EP for the nonce.

            I mean, people talk about how “squishy” anthropology is, but I can take you and SHOW you to hundreds of social institutions and venues where little kids are taught the social attitudes regarding sex and morality which show up in their behavior. Typically, EP proponents vcan nowhere show such direct linkeages between, say, this gene or complex of genes and a given behavior.

            • Hey Thad,

              What do you think of David Buss’ work that has laid the groundwork for EP? EP is extremely adaptationist in in its theoretical framework, which may explain the popularity of biodeterminism. As a graduate student biology, I have been lucky to have been exposed to many different works exploring the great puzzle that is genotype x environment interaction. Suffice to say, there is more to biology than than the gene does not seem to get out to the popular, public sphere.

  26. When I was 12 men started verbally harassing me and yelling disgusting things at me. They were definitely creepy pervs. They also led me to believe that all unknown men were creepy pervs, and that sex was negative and had to be avoided. Then the catcalls mostly stopped by the time I was 20, leading me to believe that unknown men were paedophiles too. Guys, if you want women to be more open to sexual experiences, a good place to start is by NOT giving them the impression that men are creepy pervy paedophiles by yelling disgusting things at them when they’re young girls. And if you observe other guys doing it, tell them that it’s not cool and that they need to stop, because they’re ruining it for everyone.

    • Catullus says:

      Well said. I do tell catcallers what they can do to themselves, unless safety prohibits it.

    • Donna

      If you conflate pedophiles, catcallers of adult women with the general male population the problem is more to do with your perception and thinking than anything else.

      Male and female pedophiles make up a tiny percentage of the population, their dysfunction, which is likely caused by their being molested by a male or female pedophile is not indicitive of normal healthy masculinity, that should be obvious..

      • To Alister: I suppose I should clarify since the words indicating past-tense seem to have been ignored. When I was younger, many creepy, pervy paedophiles yelled disgusting things at me and gave me the impression that they were representative of all unknown men. As an adult I have realised this is not true, and to hold all men accountable now would be my own problem. But as a 12 year old, I didn’t have the same reasoning, and saying that it was my own perception problem at that age is like when articles about child rape say that the perpetrator “had sex with” the victim, as though it’s possible to have sex “with” a child. Catcalls have had a damaging effect on myself and many of my female friends, and I think guys don’t realise how much it contributes to the (untrue) stereotype of all unknown men as potential rapists. Meeting non-defensive young women would be a lot easier for young men if those women weren’t in the process of learning that all unknown men aren’t out to harm them.

        To TWR: no, the real epitome of “class” is to laugh it off and say ‘boys will be boys’ when abusive things are yelled at children. Of course my message is addressed to all men, because it is every man’s responsibility to say ‘that’s not appropriate’ if they observe a friend or co-worker verbally abusing a child. Along with the creeps were their friends and co-workers who only laughed and said nothing.

        • No, it’s not every man’s responsibility to a goddamn thing about any of it. No more than it is every woman’s responsibility to do things about paternity fraudsters or gold diggers.

          • Well it is. Women should recognise the things that give women a bad name and try to steer friends in a better direction. It’s called being a part of the human scene.

    • I like how you address all men in this post as if we all yell these things at 12 year old girls. That is the epitome of class.

  27. I think Neil Diamond said it best… “Run girl… “

  28. For the best part of my life I’ve been leered at by older men, the first time I remember it was when I was about 12, and a 50 odd year old man who all but crashed his car whiel hanging out of is car window looking at me.
    I’m now 30 – little has changed only now the men aren’t 50’s, they are closer to 70…
    I’ve been leered at, groped, and propositioned by men old enough to be my father so often that my “defective pheromones” have become a running joke among my girl friends.
    The simple fact is – it’s creepy, it’s unsettling and being on the receiving end is not nice, and I do believe it’s had a detrimental effect on my self-esteem.

    • Catullus says:

      Whereas men your own age would never commit any of these horrid acts. No, gosh, that’s inconceivable.

    • ” I do believe it’s had a detrimental effect on my self-esteem.”

      Most of that is within your control though really. From your description, the men doing this were strangers…why on earth would you let a strangers behavior impact your feelings about yourself so much? Chalk them up as idiots and move on. Their behavior isn’t ok, esp the groping and touching but the leering? That’s kind of just a fact of life isn’t it? Men and women are going to look at other attractive men and women….

      maybe the age difference adds an extra squick factor, but don’t take it home at night for goodness sakes.

      • If you spent your whole life receiving a certain type of attention from anyone, I don’t see how you can’t take it home. Our experiences shape us into who we are. They teach us about the world. As Dalai Lama as it is to let things roll off your back, it’s unrealistic to expect experience both negative and positive to not affect you. People want to be accepted and respected. So even when strangers treat us a certain way, it still sends a message. Now that doesn’t mean you wallow around in it. But it doesn’t mean you can’t be authentic about how those experiences made you feel and what they taught you. And in Nicky’s experience, older men have been treating her crudely for a long time.

        Lets not side brush it with talks about how morally superior she should be in not letting those experiences affect her or try to deminish her experiences with sarcastic comments that men her own age could never do that or how if she was a better person (because that’s really the superior attitude that’s being taken here) these experiences wouldn’t affect her. Sorry Catullus and Natasha, you just attempted to shame her for her experiences and that’s jacked.

        I’ve been in public where I’ve seen men out with their wives and children ogle me or other younger girls/women. I use to pay more attention to the guys, now I pay more attention to their partners. Their wives ignore it but you can see they also notice it. They see where their partner is looking, they follow their gaze, they give you the once over too, they then try to ignore it. Their husbands are too busy ogling other women to think or care about the impact they are having on the woman with them. And since the women choose not to make it a battle, at least not in public, the men think their actions go unnoticed. But they don’t. Women notice these things. And they plain suck. And they DO affect my perception of men for these experiences.

        This really isn’t just an issue for older women. It’s an issue for all women; older women, younger women and girls. Because we are telling women they don’t matter after a certain age. And girls are taught that they won’t matter after a certain age. And too many guys are happy to propogate their worth as men as they grown and age, but are happy to tell women of all ages they apparently just don’t have as much value as men do.

        • Oh ffs don’t attribute intentions and actions to me that aren’t there, Erin, get a grip. I did not attempt to shame her at all. What I was saying was this:

          Why let someone else’s bullshit problem negatively impact your own sense of self worth? If you have a healthy sense of self and a reasonable amount of self esteem, you can chalk their behavior up as idiotic behavior and move the hell on.
          I’ve been leered at, stared at, propositioned by strangers and business associates…is it irritating? yep. Do I feel ‘victimized’ in some way? Nope. I feel like a few ass hats have a problem with social norms and it’s their problem not mine. I think more of myself, and find my time to be more valuable than to spend even five minutes fretting because some dumb shit tried to dry hump me in the line at the grocery store.

          • Maybe it wasn’t your intention to shame her Natasha but my personal view is that you attempted to because she isn’t you and doesn’t take things in like you do.

            You mentioned how “your time” was “more valuable” then spending time on “dumb shit”.
            That’s great that you’ve developed a mentality in these situations that works for *you*. But just because you’ve dealt with situations a certain way doesn’t mean that’s the right answer for everyone.

            Again, I’m not saying to wallow around in self pity. But to deny that the people around us don’t in fact affect us, isn’t honest. I’ve had personal experiences with strangers that were extremely positive and greatly helped me. And I’ve had personal experiences with strangers that were negative and I won’t ever forget and taught me things that changed me. Different people take different things from different experiences. And all Nicky is doing is sharing that she has had an accumulation of negative experiences with older men. It’s affected her self-esteem and I’m sure she understands thats something she needs to work on. Fact remains, she’s had an accumulation of negative attention from men old enough to be her father and grandfather. Since that’s what this piece is about, she’s reiterating her own personal experience. And you’ve distracted from that message by implying that the things that affect her is “dumb shit” just because you wouldn’t have reacted to it the same way. Her piece seems to be more about her negative personal experiences with older men. And her self esteem has been affected by it. Not too far off from the message Hugo is giving in his piece.

            • If you’re going to quote me, do it in context, don’t cherry pick and rearrange my words or who/what they are directed at.
              My words: “I think more of myself, and find my time to be more valuable than to spend even five minutes fretting because some dumb shit tried to dry hump me in the line at the grocery store.”

              You presenting my words out of context:
              “You mentioned how “your time” was “more valuable” then spending time on “dumb shit”.”

              My ACTUAL post clearly implied that the people who engaged in this behavior were dumb shits…..You changed it to read that I thought Nicky was complaining about ‘dumb shit’ and that her experience wasn’t valid. I didn’t say that, or imply it, anywhere.

              Nice try though

            • Hey Natasha, my apologizes for mis-reading your words. You’re right, I did. My bad on that. Your “dumb shits” comment was to call these people “dumb shits”. Everyone makes mistakes.

              But based on your other commentary, I do think your implying certain things about Nicky and thought processes and reactions *you* think she should have because of how you take in situations. Although I do think you’re trying to help her. But again, not everyone reacts the same way to the same situations. Neither should they. Like I said in my own experiences, I have had both positive and negative experiences with strangers that I won’t ever forget and changed me.

              I also stand by my point that this is a distraction from her original message which is she has had respeat negative experiences from older men. And since that’s what Hugo’s article focuses on, older men’s reaction to both older nad younger women, it seems Nicky is sharing her own experiences in that regard. And just because she mentioned that she developed insecurity over it, we shouldn’t underscore the experiences she has had.

        • Catullus says:

          I only reminded Nicky, albeit bluntly, that older men don’t have a monopoly on subjecting young women and girls to horrid behavior. If that’s shaming her, then you’ve set the bar for shaming so low, a sheet of typing paper couldn’t slide underneath it.

          • Older men don’t have a monopoly on subjecting younger women and girls to horrid behavior. But this article IS about older men and how they treat women, younger and older. If we can’t talk about that without saying “younger men do it too!”, then how do we honestly look at anything? We all know there are always going to be questions about how older people behave toward younger ones. And discussing how older men specifically do isn’t in anyway saying only some older men behave poorly. It’s just taking an honest look at one group and how they treat other people. When we fail to discuss that aspect and try to side track with pointing to another group and saying “look over there, they do it too”, it’s an attempt to distract from the topic at hand.

            If you are more interested in talking about how younger men treat women, then I’m sure there are other articles that address that. And if not, why not write one and open up that discussion?

  29. A man leering at any woman is disgusting PERIOD, regardless if he’s a young, old, hot, ugly, fat, loaded, broke or what have you.

    A man who uncontrollably leers at women basically says one of two things:

    1) The guy IS a pervert.
    2) The guy is a wanton inexperienced socially retarded degenerate who couldn’t get next to any woman to save his life.

    I see men everyday, and only a very very small percentage actually leer. And being on the receiving end of leering makes the skin jump off our backs. No woman in her right mind, 12, 20 or 40, unless she’s desperate, narcissistic, or lonely wants to be visually raped.

    You can blame it on age, preference, social and biological stigma, and dance around it like it’s to be normal and expected but call a spade a spade. Leering = pervert = revolting.

    • wellokaythen says:

      I hear you saying that leering feels invasive and that you feel disgusted by unwanted sexual attention. I respect those feelings. I can see how deep those feelings run. They make sense to me.

      I won’t even ask what “leering” means, precisely. I’ve seen obnoxious staring, so I have some understanding.

      However, it seems to me that “visually raped” is overdoing it. You don’t like what a man does with his eyeballs and brain and neck, that’s totally fine, you can tell him off. But, he has a right to turn his neck or move his eyes any way he wants to. He hasn’t actually done anything to you, really. Fortunately or unfortunately, a man doesn’t need consent to look at a woman and fantasize. Here’s one place I disagree with my Women’s Studies colleagues — the “male gaze” is not actually a weapon. Looking, even staring, is not an assault.

      Let the thumbing begin.

      • I’ve been leered at ways that felt physically threatening, especially if I’m alone or in a situation where I don’t feel safe. E.g., stopping at a gas station at night and encountering a guy who is obviously looking me up and down, making aggressive eye contact, and grinning at me, licking his lips etc. Creepy, and scary because it’s obvious that he’s fantasizing about me and I don’t know if he is going to say something offensive, try to grab me or follow me home. That’s a lot different than getting a glance in a coffee shop. Men really don’t understand how much women worry about their personal safety. I’m not that strong and if a guy wanted to attack and rape me, he probably could. I always have to be aware of that and take appropriate precautions, while trying not to be paranoid or think of all men as potential rapists. Leering is more than glancing or even staring. It’s a kind of staring that is intentionally aggressive and threatening. The vast majority of guys don’t leer, they just look. Totally different situation.

        • “…making aggressive eye contact, and grinning at me, licking his lips…”

          Ok, so direct eye contact, a smile and a little deliberate lip/tongue display to call attention to the mouth….call me silly, but isn’t that HALF the dating and flirting advice given out to women in cosmo every month?

          • I don’t think men should follow “flirting” advice for women in a women’s magazine. I may be wrong, but most guys probably do not feel frightened or creeped out by a strange woman on the street corner making aggressive eye contact or licking her lips — unless she’s obviously crazy.

      • Uh, you might want to try having a man look at your rear end as though it’s a rack of rib eye ala sherry au jus w/ a side of country biscuits announce to his buddies out loud enough so that you can hear how much he’d like to split the sucker in half.

        Then you can tell me what it means to be visually raped.

        • Actually, FW, I’ve been through a very similar experience in a gay club and no, I wouldn’t classify it as rape AT ALL. Rude, yes. Aggressive? Certainly? Rape…? That seems to me to stretch the word far beyond its accepted or legal meaning.

          • OMFG I wasn’t using rape as a literal term, more of like a slang type metaphor. And for those who think I actually meant it as a form of rape need to chill like soon and maybe get over it.

            Let’s see now, you can also call it dismantle, tear apart, turn upside down, devour, cherry pick, pillage, destroy, whatever works. At any rate, it all boils down something nasty and berating <=== That my friends, IS the literal part.

            • So why would you want to turn a very terrible crime into a “slang type metaphor”? What possible good does this do in allowing us to better perceive what’s going on?

              As for “chilling” about this point, I’m not willing to anymore. Why? Because whenever I point out that not every form of sexual aggression, violence, or inequality needs must be claffied as rape, I get a chorus of people reviling me for being a “defender of rape culture”.

              You are presumably a feminist, FW, no? So seriously: tell me what do you think most feminists would say if a man used the term “rape” as a “slang type metaphor”?

            • Again, you are blowing what I said out of proportion and taking everything completely out of context. Lighten up.

              And don’t lay up in here and preach to me about being a feminist when you have not a single clue what’s it’s like to be a woman, especially as a man who writes for a men’s magazine that is almost completely and inherently bias. I’ve read plenty of material on here that minimizes and hyper-sexualizes women, and plenty more that makes men masters of the misogynistic neanderthal universe- hence one example the penis size world geographical map article meant to be jovial but instead is grossly ill-informed and utterly ridiculous.

              Don’t be so “serious” when a lot of the material on your site is a complete joke backed by junk science. You guys here are more likened to askmen.com than you are Scientific American bro. Write something for JAMA and we’ll talk literal.

            • Who’s preaching at you about being a feminist? I said I presumed that you are. Given that feminists/MRAs are notoriously “unlight” about the subject of rape, that created some cognitive dissonance for me.

              As for material being a “joke” and “junk science”, this may come as some surprise to you, but I’m hardly an editor of TGPM: I’m a guy who’s written one measily article and a lot of comments. That hardly puts me in a position to be responsibvle for the magazine’s content.

              I’ll give credit where credit is due, however: TGMP seems to really make an effort at getting all or most male voices heard and, hen one does that, a lot of junk will be published. I haven’t seen anything here, however, that’s more gratuitously “junk science” than the stuff one sees in most women-oriented publications. Stuff about “testosterone poisoning” and “patriarchy”, just for one. Not to mention the gratuitous use many of these sites make of the concept of post-traumatic stress disorder. To hear some female-oriented bloggers put it, even the site of a word like “rape” is enough to permanently shatter the egg-shell fragile psyches of the victims of violence.

          • A) In this society, you have privileges that women don’t. You have privileges that gay men don’t. As such, a gay man saying something rude like that doesn’t hold the same threat or charge as a htereosexual man saying it to a woman. Period.

            B) I agree regarding the lazy and possibly damaging use of the rape metaphor, but we can move past that and agree that the kind of experience FeistyWoman is talking about is damaging, threatening, and non-consensual. I hope we can, anyway.

            • Eirene, I only bother to listen to accusations of “privileges” when they are backed up by some sort of definition of privilege and an example of what my privilege supposedly is. Otherwise, it’s simply bullshit, because what the person making the accusation is saying is that I have some ineffable trait which means that bad behavior against me is completely justified.

              Furthermore, you are pretty well uninformed about how violent certain alternative sexuality scenes can be in Brazil. In particular, transvesites in Rio de Janeiro have a fairly long history of being fairly willing to kick people’s asses at the drop of a dime. I think you are making the kind of observation re: supposed “privileges” that only a very sheltered person would make.

              As for “gay men saying something rude” not being a threat, I’m at a bit of a loss to see how rude behavor is ipso facto a threat to anyone. Maybe you could help me out here.

            • Thaddeus, you’re giving me plenty of anecdotal evidence here. I’m sure you’re aware that the rates of rape and assault on women and gays by men are far higher than the reverse; I’m sure you can practice some basic empathy and recognize that the power dynamics are structured against them. If nothing else, I’m sure you can recognize that because they are marginalized groups, they are socialized to fear assault and rape in a way that men are not. I am not calling transvestites or women weak, but just because said transvestites “kick ass at the drop of a hat” does not mean that this is untrue (and also, transvestites are NOT NECESSARILY GAY).

              (One wonders how they came to be known for that in the first place, by the way: presumably circumstances give them plenty of opportunities to do so? Which would support my point.)

              I will not remark on your comments about Brazil, because I know too little about the culture. However, I’m confident in the application of what I’ve said to cultures I’ve had exposure to — all the North American cultures, and several of the European ones.

              “what the person making the accusation is saying is that I have some ineffable trait which means that bad behavior against me is completely justified. ”

              How incredibly defensive! Pointing out that context matters is not “completely justifying” bad behavior against you, and nothing in my post suggested it was. I am simply pointing out that context matters, and that a pass on a hetero male by a gay male is not the same thing as a pass on a woman by a hetero male. It means different things, has different applications, because of the surrounding culture. Surely this is very basic?

              The trait, by the way, is hardly ineffable. if you take objection to the word “privilege,” think “cultural context,” if you prefer.

            • Yeah Eirene, I am aware that the stats – as far as we have them – regarding rape of women by men are far worse than the opposite. As for rapes of gays by “men”, you seem to presume here that gays aren’t men, so it’s kind of difficult to see what you’re getting at there. Do you REALLY think that men who rape other men worry about whether or not their victims are gay? Do you think that there’s some sort of gay ID card they look for and, if a man doesn’t have it, he gets a “bro pass”?

              There ARE no stats for male-on-male rape, that I’m aware of, that break down agressors into gay and non-gay categories. So at least half of what you’re saying is simply wrong, Eirene.

              Furthermore, in Brazil, like in many places in the world, male-on-male sexual assault is a time-honored method of “demasculizing” one’s enemy.

              I recently went to Belém do Para, for example, and saw a prison museum there. One of the commonly used torture tools was a wooden didldo, about 5 centimeters thick. And this wasn’t what the prisoners used, mind you: it’s what the police used to disicipline recacitant prisoners. If you are a male and are ever kidnapped or held captive in Brazil, you can be assured that the threat of sexual torture will be ever present.

              When we turn to the topic of male on female rape, the best studies out there indicate that it’s 2-6% of the men doing this and guess what? Those SAME men are also responsible for a big chunck of male-on-male violence.

              You’ll notice, by the way, that the male victims of EVERY OTHER violent crime but rape outweoigh the female victims by quite a lot.

              Now, I’ll cop to not being that afraid of being raped by a stranger when I walk down a street at night, but if you’re half as informed about rape as you seem to be, you’ll agree that the chances of having that happen to you, as a women, are vanishingly small. The vast majority of sexual assailants are people women know and trust.

              So this brings us back to my original question: what “privilege” is this that we’re talking about here?

              Certainly it isn’t the privilege of not being assaulted or violated. As a man, I’m much more likely – several times more likely – to be the victim of violence than you are. In fact, it always shocks me just how unaware women, in general, are to any form of potential violence OTHER than rape. I’ll give you a great example that happened to me the other day…

              I was walking with a female friend in Largo do Machado at 2AM. We had both been drinking and were looking for a cab up to Santa Teresa. Many cab drivers in Rio don’t like going there because it’s high up, the roads suck and there used to be a lot of robberies.

              So after the third taxi driver had turned us down, my female companion shouted out at him “You don’t need to be scared of ST anymore! It’s been pacified so wimps like you can drive up !” The driver slammed on his brakes, reversed and pulled right up to my feet, shouting “What the hell did you call me, motherfucker?”

              My companion is half my size and has a voice like a small bird. She was also in the road shaking her fist at the driver. There’s no conceivable way he could have mistaken her voice and stance for mine, but he chose to because I was the man, so thus – in his sexist view of things – I was responsible for whatever my female companion said.

              Taxi drivers in Rio – the western hemisphere’s most dnagerous city – routinely go armed and often use amphetamines to stay awake on night shifts. I just spread my hands and said nothing. Luckily, at that moment, the taxi behind the guy started haonking his horn and the driver had to pull off. I turned to my companion and said “Jeezis! Don’t mouth off to these guys, because I’m the one who’s going to catch hell if you do!” She just laughed and told me to “chill out” because it was all just a big game to her.

              I admit that men are not too worried about rape, but you’re absolutely wrong if you think we’re not hyper aware of other forms of violence – violence which we are much more likely to face than a woman rape.

              So who has the “privilege” of ignoring violence again, Eirene? I’d say that both genders face violence from different angles and both genders tend to ignore the forms of violence which don’t target them. The argument that this is thus some sort of “privilege” is thus pretty damned weak.

              …transvestites are NOT NECESSARILY GAY.

              Ahn, yes. The Anglo propensity that calling everything by its proper name somehow makes the world more just, righteous and beautiful. 😀

              Where did I say that all transvestites were gay, E? In Brazil, transvestites most definitely are people with XY chromosomes who have sex with other men. People with XY chromosomes who dress in women’s clothing are properly “cross dressers”. Given that the common gloss for men who have sex with men is “gay” – and given that the comments section here doesn’t allow us to write long, explicatory footnotes qualifying our terms – I’m fairly certain that you can forgive my horribly unpolitically-correct statement that certain gay scenes in Rio, particularly those involving transvestites, are notoriously violent. It’s debateable whether or not transvestites are gay.

              (By the way, most trans people say “no”, resoundingly. Many also say “yes”, however. When the World Political Correctness Congress comes to a concensus on this issue, I hope I will be duly informed.)

              If you want to learn more about transvestitism and violence in Brazil, I suggest you read Don Kulick’s excellent Travesti. Or see the film Madame Satan (though Madame Satã was properly a gay cross-dresser and not a transvestite.)

              I will not remark on your comments about Brazil, because I know too little about the culture. However, I’m confident in the application of what I’ve said to cultures I’ve had exposure to — all the North American cultures, and several of the European ones.

              Spain, Portugal, Greece and Italy, too – not to mention the several hundred Native cultures in North America, as well as the many sub-cultures which exist on both continents? And by “exposure”, do you mean you’ve hung out, long term, among the men who have sex with men in all those cultures? Finally, surely you realize that even your worldly experience has put you in contact with far less than 10% of the world’s peoples? Because if not, I would suggest that you are making huge generalizations based on a very narrow database.

              I am simply pointing out that context matters, and that a pass on a hetero male by a gay male is not the same thing as a pass on a woman by a hetero male. It means different things, has different applications, because of the surrounding culture. Surely this is very basic?

              The original point of your argument, if you’ll recall, is not that these experiences mean different things or that context doesn’t matter: the point is that somehow, as a (presumably) het male, I have no experience in being the focus of dangerous sexual attention.

              Here in Rio, in fact, I have been the focus of dangerous sexual attention coming from women. One of life’s small ironies is that while North American women are often terrified by the idea that someone will slip “roofies” in their drink in a bar, in Rio, such practices are almost always directed against by women against men. There’s even a slang term for it: “Good Night Cinderella”. The woman flirts with you, you agree to go somewhere else, she calls for a nightcap and pays the bartender extra to slip you the mickey. When you get where you’re going, you fall asleep and she strips you clean, often dumping you in a gutter afterwards.

              So I find it rather humorous when I talk to North American women who presume that they face far many more dangers than I do when going into a bar.

        • Anonymous says:

          I would consider those comments about splitting someone open to be very rude behavior, and I would call those comments physically threatening. If you slice-kicked him off the barstool and I were on the jury, it would be difficult for me to find you guilty of a crime.

          BUT, I’m not sure there is such a crime as “aggressive looking.” The eyes are passive receptors. They don’t actually produce rays that shoot out and bombard other people. And, when I think of leering, I think of someone staring and smiling with a really ugly mouth of teeth. To me, “leering” has the connotation of being stared at by someone not very attractive. Are attractive men guilty of leering, or is it just the unwanted ones? I’m not trying to hairsplit this issue down to nothing, but I tend to think there’s a difference between looking and action.

          Of course, I also tend to think the men who make those comments to their buddies are the least likely to be a threat to you. They strike me as being incredibly terrified of women or trying very, very hard to appear strictly heterosexual when there may be some doubts in their minds. A lot of them are barricading the closet door as fast as they can.

          • I’m missing something here: where did someone talk about “slicing someone open”? Was that post deleted?

            • Anonymous says:

              Sorry, it was in response to FW’s earlier message:

              “Uh, you might want to try having a man look at your rear end as though it’s a rack of rib eye ala sherry au jus w/ a side of country biscuits announce to his buddies out loud enough so that you can hear how much he’d like to SPLIT THE SUCKER IN HALF.[Emphasis added.]

              Then you can tell me what it means to be visually raped.”

              I must have clicked the wrong “Reply” button

    • “A man leering at any woman is disgusting PERIOD, regardless if he’s a young, old, hot, ugly, fat, loaded, broke or what have you.”


      Trying to cast this as a specific characteristic of older men is ridiculous and offensive.

      • I don’t see any indiciation where it’s been said that learing is ONLY a specific characteristic of older men. However this is what this article addresses. Other articles on GMP have addressed younger boys and how they react and treat girls too. Are we going to start saying that anything that narrows down to specfics in gender or age is automatically offensive because it pinpoints a certain group? How do we ever really work out any issues if that’s the case?

        Older men lear. Yes, younger men can be just as uncouth and lear too. But this issue pertains to older men’s reactions to younger women and how it affects both men and women. By speaking about the different dichotomy that happens with older men and how they relate to women of different ages, doesn’t make it offensive. Because not once was it said that only older men lear. The fact is, there are plenty of older men that lear and we need to be able to talk about that with honesty since it’s clearly an issue for many girls. And we can see that in the women that shared their experience all through out this article.

        • OMG it’s L-E-E-R….please, it’s just painful and Shakespeare is raging….

          I’m going to be 37 next month, not particularly ‘young’, but also not ready to be sexually shelved just yet…and I have to tell you that I’ve been LEERed at more in the past 3 years by BOYS 17-22 ish than I have by men who are in their 50’s or older. And I’ve seen women in their 30’s, 40’s and up LEERing at boys who are in their late teens and early 20’s.

          This is not a gender exclusive sexual dysfunction of the pedophilic kind dear, it’s a gender transcendent personality disorder.

          • :) Yeah, I’m sure Shakespeare is raging at my butchering of the word but doesn’t make my point any less valid. I’ve never been a great speller and I’m not ashamed of it. You know why? Spelling has nothing to do with my level of intelligence.

            Seems to me your experience is for another article, regarding the dichotomy of younger men and older women. I can’t help but wonder if those younger guys that …wait for it …wait for it..leered at you think “check out that hot cougar/milf” or if they just appreciate you as a good looking woman. Because if it’s the first, then we still have a dichotomy of men/boys fetishizing women based on age.

            Regardless of your experience, since this piece is about older men and how they relate to younger women, talking about other scenerios only distracts from the true topic at hand. And by talking about a specific situation of older men/ younger women, doesn’t mean anyone is claiming it’s gender exclusive and there aren’t other issues concerning older women that hunt for younger men.

            My issue with your arguement is the same point I was trying to make to Thaddeus. By addressing specifics of how older men relate to younger women, and the clear issues that come up (just look at the number of posts by women that stated their negative experiences iwth older men), in no way insinuates that older women that hunt exclusively for younger men don’t have their own set of issues. There is still a much bigger feitishization of older men with younger women then older women with younger men.

            • No, my post and position is completely on point Erin. Hugo’s article is about how men, specifically older men fetishize younger women, and is peppered with implications about how young women should always be on guard against the dirty old man wanking in the alleyway just waiting for a chance to jump out and rape the first 6th grader they see. The article assigns this disposition to ALL men (as presumably, most boys will not remain boys forever, and will eventually grow up to be “older men” who will look at a younger woman).
              To passively accept his maligning of an entire gender rather than looking at the behavior, and how it CROSSES genders is repugnant and not a very intelligent way to have a discussion/debate.

              Thaddeus was absolutely right in his post, to paint all older men with this brush is offensive.

            • Funny how people are so willing to use literary disconstruction to bring out the unstated assumptions of a post when the topic is male vs. female sexism. I agree with Natasha: by applying the same sort of feminist literary critique used on patriarchical texts, it becomes quite clear what Hugo is saying. He most certainly is implying that this is very much an older male problem – almost specifically so (though Hugo is clever enough to always leave himself a textual backdoor out of which he can duck if challenged on his many “-isms”).

              All I’m doing here is giving the same critical attention to Hugo’s assumptions and their implications as I would to any patriarchical text. And I have feminist scholars to thank for this skill.

            • Natasha, if you say your point is spot on, it must be. Case closed.

              But clearly there are people that disagree.

              Older men do infact fetishize younger women, that’s a reality that happens.

              Several woman here have shared their experiences with older men behaving inappropriately toward them. I’ve had my own experiences as well. These shouldn’t be undermined because other age inappropriate situations happen too. And those are good topics and subjects as well. Lets specifically talk about how older women relate to younger boys. Lets specifically talk about how younger men treat younger women. But lets at least be honest enough to also discuss how older men relate to younger women specifically too. If you don’t have the capability to be able to narrow down a discussion to the different components that go into each group, without having to say “this happens over here too”, how can we have a real discussion and solve what happens within a certain group? These ages and gender groups bring on different results and interactions. And to talk about one over the other in no way minimizes anyone else. To say that all groups are equal is disingenuous. There are different questions that come up with each group.

              Heck, If we said younger girls are more violent and we need to look at why; that shouldn’t be so offensive that someone would feel the need to counter it with “but older women are violent too!”. Sure, yes. Older women can be violent too. But there are different reasons why younger girls may be acting out violently from older women. That’s not offensive, that’s reality. And it shouldn’t be any more offensive to anyone to pinpoint older men and how they relate to younger women specifically.

              I really wonder how many men have been looking at the same kind of porn of women 18-24 since they were teenagers, into their 20s, into their 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s….while they and their partners aged on (while the former pornstars they lusted after aged on.) Men’s sexuality is better then that. It has the ability to be better then that. But since culturally young women are fetishized, and porn plays such a big role in speaking to male sexuality, there are a lot of men out there that have let their sexual interests remain stagnate. Men can grow beyond their teenaged years, mentality, physically, emotionally and sexually. Depictions of dumb, ape drooling men in media harm everyone. Implications that a grown man’s sexuality doesn’t grown with the rest of him plays into that “men are one dimensional” media mentality.

            • What I can’t figure out, Erin, and maybe you can help me here, is the presumption that age-similar relationships are necessarily more just, balanced, less exploitative and etc.

            • Not necessarily, but come on. Is it so difficult to comprehend that the disparity in power can lead to exploitation? In a way that happens more readily than in age-similar relationships?

              OF COURSE individual relationships can be exceptions, but we’re all talking in generalities and trends here. Let’s please get over that.

            • Dear Eirene,

              When you say “Is it so difficult to understand that a disparity in power can lead to exploitation”, I actually do have a hard time understanding what you mean. You seem to feel that power is something that people “have”, a sort of innate quality that adheres to them due to certain discriptors and that said power is more or less uniformly distributed according to these descriptors.

              The key assumptio you are making here is that age gives people power. I don’t see that, at all, so perhaps you could explain why you think of age in that way.

              Secondly, I’m not quite sure that disparities in power necessarily lead to exploitation. In fact, I’m not even sure how you would define “exploitation”. In much MRA/feminist discourse, these terms get tossed around as if they were self-evident, but looking over the comments section here alone should show us that they are not.

              When I talk about generalities and trends, I want to see clear definitions of the terms used and some empirical data to back up the proposed model. So far, all I see here are attempts to create semi-reductionist moral laws (i.e. age-disparate relationships = +exploitation) without any of the terms being deifnied and CERTAINLY without much other than annecdotal evidence being offered up.

          • Anonymous says:

            Shakespeare rolling in his grave because he wrote _King Lear_ or because he wrote in English? If it’s the latter, then I have to point out that English was not a standardized language until AFTER Shakespeare. In his day there were multiple accepted ways of spelling most words.

        • Catullus says:

          It’s germane to wonder aloud why bad behavior by older men is worthy of specific examination, Erin. Not just because of what Natasha brings up. Some of the women on this thread have actually opined that it’s worse to be exploited by an older man than an age-peer, on no more solid a basis than that they feel the former is ickier.

          • Well-remembered, Cat.

            • Why shouldn’t it be worthy of specific examination Catullus? I think how older women relate to young men is always worthy of specific examination too. I think how young men and women relate to each other is worthy of specific examination. But when we try to distract from how each different group relates to each other, we miss out on digging deeper into their different and personal dichonomies. And lets be honest. How younger men relate to younger girls is different then how older men relate to younger girls.

              Of course being sexually exploited by an older man is more threatening. Older men have more power vs a younger boy or girl. They have more experience and knowledge. Younger boys haven’t learned the mature adult ways to get what you want. Younger boys mess up, they are eager to please a girl, they don’t have the knowledge. Older men are naturally more threatening because they are older and knowledgable.

              Girls grow up with older men being figures of leadership and strength. So when you hit puberty and start seeing older men responding to you differently, for lack of a better word, it’s confusing. You want boys your own age to respond to you but when older men do, you don’t understand. You grow up seeing your friends mother’s and fathers and you think that these men should naturally be attracted to women their own age. But when you see your friend’s father checking you out for the first time, it’s crushing. When you notice your own dad flirting with the young college waitress for the first time, it’s disappointing. Because these men’s reaction to you is exploitive. Because you thought that these men had more respect for their wives.

              If these older men took a less selfish and predatory interest in younger women, and instead treated them with fatherly concern and respect, I really believe young women would learn to develop more healthy relationships with men in general. But if all men are going to do is sexually exploit girls and women, there is no room to develop a healthy relationship OR to learn that there is more to men or that there is more a man could want you for then just sex.

            • Having read the article and comments, I can’t help but wonder if the fetish is directed at older men.

              I’ll qualify this by identifying myself as a 54 year old man.The very subject of your fetish. I happen to have a daughter 25 years younger. What I experience when I am in public with her is most particularly women giving me dirty looks. Of course I should readily accept the fact that a 54 year old man out with his 29 year old daughter must be a pervert.

              I also have a 27 year old son and a 6 year old son, when my youngest was still in a stroller, I had people openly comment to me that they didn’t think gay men should be allowed to raise children.

              However I try not to let the sexual depravity that governs what some believe to be their intelligence, define the relationships in my life.

              I like to think that my fatherhood is a role, and not the skin I wear. It is a dream of mine that my children one day see me as a person and as a man. I have no interest in making it my personal responsibility to father the fatherless. Although I do possess that level of compassion, it’s not my job. Maybe the key to more healthy relationships is to stop trying to fit people into safe and neat little roles.

              I have also had a 5 year relationship with a woman 12 years younger than me, she is mother to my youngest son. Although I love her dearly, she has to many issues with her own father and I am not willing to pay his tab.To be objectified by a younger woman in such a manner is I think more common than not.

              I think young girls typically have a lot of dependency issues, that make coupling with an older man feel safer for them. For myself I have no illusions, I don’t need the extra years of prolonged parenting.

            • You don’t know what ‘fetish’ means. Its a sexual arousal from *nonsentient* things. Inanimate objects like shoes or pleather.

              The poster does not have a ‘fetish’ for men your age. In fact she has a stated aversion.

              WTF are you talking about!?!?!

          • Let’s examine WHY it’s ickier for a moment, shall we? The obvious answer is that the older men are unattractive, but if you really examine what these women are saying, it’s more along the lines of a kind of threat. Not, of course, an older man threatens a younger woman every time he hits on her, but the power disparity is keenly felt.

            If you look at it in the context of a culture where institutionalized sexism still exists, then it makes sense. All other things being equal, we wouldn’t care.

            • Henry Vandenburgh says:

              I have a hunch that the “power” thing is way blown up to be something it isn’t. Philosophers would say we’ve reified the concept. My sense, and I could be wrong, is that men signal that they’re available for relationships, and women then do the choosing. I don’t doubt that older men can seem very impressive to young women– or not. Whether they seem attractive physically or not varies according to the women’s tastes.

              I said this somewhere else here, but what I suspect is that older women’s regrets of relationships they had when young with an older man is due to a memory shift. Older women have an interest in putting out that older men should not be involved with younger women– increasing the pool of potential partners for themselves.

            • I agree with Henry: most of the people using the term “power” here couldn’t logically define it if you paid them to. It’s just simply a rhetorical place-holder, something which certain categories of people are presumed to have, but which doesn’t have to be shown or proven.

              I myself am constantly wondering at what this “power” is that older people supposedly have in general. And, going on Eirene’s statement above, that “older men are unattractive”, it seems to me that much of the female reaction to this isn’t based on these guys’ power, but their PRESUMPTION.

              In other words, the woman inquestion is quite awware that SHE’S the one in the socially superior niche, so how DARE that ugly old street person wink and leer at her?

            • What is this power?

              How about that every single president (with exception of Barack Obama) has been an old white man?

              Most congresspeople are old white men.

              Most mayors and governors are old white men.

              Most college professors until recent have been old white men.

              Most employers (top echeleon) are old white men.

              The police will treat an old white man much differently than a young black man for instance.

            • Henry Vandenburgh says:

              Power is defined as the ability to make someone do something you want them to, even if they don’t want to. Most of us white guys don’t have it either. My definition is a paraphrase of Max Weber’s. I am a college professor, however. Many of our new hires seem to be women or minorities these days. I guess, in all honesty, I don’t really care about any of the issues you list above, except the last one– and I think some (not much) profiling is something it’s okay for police to do. Most of your other issues are changing for the better, and your examples are more historical than current. I certainly want to see increasing diversity in all of the positions you cite, and I think we’re getting it.

            • Nice to see soemone actually using some social theory for a change instead of buzz-words.

    • He’s LOOKING at me! Call the National Guard!

      • Anonymous says:

        Now, now, that’s an overreaction. Simply pass a law mandating eye-birkas for all men. That should prevent impure thoughts. Sunglasses are acceptable in a pinch, I suppose.

  30. You are misinterpreting evolutionary psychology. Evolutionary pysch claims the subconscious is responsible for a lot of our behaviors. Animals don’t mate knowing they’re going to produce offspring. Animals mate due to instinct, but the reason they mate is subconscious and it is to produce offspring. Consciously, older men go after younger women for their reasons, but subconsciously they’re going after young women because young women are more fertile. Ev-psych isn’t justifying this behavior. Ev-psych is trying to make us more aware of this behavior so we as human beings can realize that our subconscious does play an important role in our mating behaviors, and so that way we can have better control over our behaviors. This isn’t cultural, because older men going after younger women has always existed. It’s not a recent phenomenon. What’s recent is older women going after younger men. Since the beginning of civilization, however, it is always been more common for a young girl to be married off to an older man.

    • It would be great if more people used evo-psych as a way of understanding and having more control over their behaviors. Unfortunately, it seems like it’s become a popular way for a lot of people, who have never actually studied evolution or psychology, to justify behavior WITHOUT having to question or try to understand their own unique motivations, or anyone else’s. In that way, I think it’s reductive, and even nihilistic.

    • Wellokaythen says:


      You make a good point about the power of biological/subconscious drives and about seeing some value in looking at evolutionary psychology.

      However, many people tend to be selective about applying these theories. I’m not saying you’re being selective, but the fact is that there are many (potentially) psychobiological drives in people, and they are not necessarily aligned for a single purpose. They may in fact contradict each other.

      First of all, there really is no purposeful end point to natural selection. Evolution is not about moving a species in a particular direction, and not every characteristic of a species is geared towards its survival. Not everything biological is there in order to propagate a species.

      Second of all, there are lots of very powerful drives associated with biology that have at best mixed value when it comes to guaranteeing reproduction. One example would be the pretty good tool-making brain that humans have developed over the millennia. It’s great for making hunting tools, cooking food, keeping children alive with medicine (good for survival), but also good for making nuclear weapons and overfarming the topsoil (bad for survival). And, of course, this very naturally evolved tool-making brain has invented birth control, written laws restraining sexuality, and childfree subcultures.

      Third, perhaps there is a meta-evolutionary theory here, but I’m not sure where male homosexuality (in terms of preferences, practices, whatever) would fit into this theory about men seeking healthy women. I’m sure Alexander the Great was in touch with his biological drives, was no doubt a fine human specimen, could have devoted many resources to children, and had uncounted opportunity to reproduce, but he spent much more time having sex with men than women.

      Finally, even though I think there is something “hardwired” about human sexuality, certainly about attraction, there is certainly a lot of cultural variation, which is I think your point about the “beginnings of civilization.” Human have existed LONG before the societies we call “civilizations” ever began, and before that people did things very differently. The attraction of older men for younger women can also be a product of social and cultural factors, which is I think your point about older men marrying younger women. (And, of course, marriage, which is a social/cultural practice, does not necessarily mean there is a biological attraction.) Not to mention the fact that the brain, even at some very deep levels, is affected by environment – the brain shapes us and we shape the brain back.


  1. […] week’s column at the Good Men Project is a slightly longer one, on a familiar theme: What Young Women Really Want From Older Men. I touch on Sean Penn and Scarlett Johansson, and on the work of evo-psych debunkers like Cordelia […]

  2. […] Hugo clearly is right when he says this is a culturally driven issue more than a biologically driven…, as well, but I don’t know that there’s any way to “fix” it or even any need to “fix” it. I’m not talking about the cheating and lying part, of course–that is completely unnecessary and eminently fixable!–but the part about wanting that particular kind of relationship with a “younger woman,” well…both parties are consenting adults–the “older” women are far better off without men stuck in this particular psychological rut, and the “younger” women in the rut with the men seem to be doing well enough, so why exactly is this a problem..? I think what I’m still not understanding is that–why it’s an issue of much interest to anyone except the involved parties at all. […]

  3. […] example, my post on the problem of older men sexualizing younger women attracted a storm of male criticism at the Good Men Project. What runs on Tuesday at GMP runs on […]

  4. […] came across this article, entitled “Is it Natural for Older Guys to Lust After Young Women?” published on The Good Men Project. Hugo Schwyzer makes a poor attempt at debunking the […]

  5. […] version of it can be found in Hugo Schwyzer’s essay at the Good Men Project titled “Is It Natural for Older Guys to Lust After Young Women?”First, here’s what I agree with Schwyzer on: people who try to excuse men’s bad […]

  6. […] post is from 2009, but in the heated aftermath to my recent piece at the Good Men Project, I thought I’d reprint this piece on why it is that I think that older men/younger women […]

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  8. […] of youth — to explain these relationships, but Schwyzer calls B.S. In an article titled, “Is It Natural for Older Guys to Lust After Young Women?” he writes, “The great lengths to which countless men go to avoid fatherhood suggests […]

  9. […] Is age every really just a number? I tend to say no, and have written quite a bit about the problematic nature of older men/younger women relationships. (See my archive here, this interview with Tracy Clark-Flory here, and this post at the Good Men Project: What Young Women are Really Looking for From Older Men.) […]

  10. […] they had Hugo Schwyzer on to talk about age differences in male-female relationships. Hugo’s written extensively on the topic, and he talks with host Meghan Murphy about all the different questions these […]

  11. […] Older men and younger women: culture, not evolution. […]

  12. […] images of “barely legal teens” rather than “MILFS” when he’s alone with his laptop. But enough aging men do sexualize very young women—and disparage their female peers—to send a loud and clear message to women on the high side of […]

  13. […] and mental experiences throughout the day – and I’ve heard this argument before. This article, for example, argues that, “men’s sexual desire is driven by culture, not […]

  14. […] and mental experiences throughout the day – and I’ve heard this argument before. This article, for example, argues that, “men’s sexual desire is driven by culture, not […]

  15. […] or Jean Luc Picard (Star Trek, bald) more than Zac Efron (High School Musical, 20 something boy-man).  There are image-obsessed guys who idealize youth, tight bodies and the student-teacher dynamic… and that younger women lack the experience and wisdom to call their older lovers on their bullshit. […]

  16. […] We like that. It means we stumbled into something that needs discussing. Our friend Hugo, who has written and lectured extensively on the subject, added his very male and very academic perspective. Clearly, this is a conversation that needs to […]

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  18. […] This article by Hugo Schwyzer is a GREAT read. I hope some old men come by this. […]

  19. […] Both at the Good Men Project and at my own blog, my most popular posts in terms of page-views are invariably those that focus on one particularly controversial subject: older men and younger women. (Here’s “What Young Women are Really Looking for From Older Men.”) […]

  20. […] Both during a Good Men Project and during my possess blog, my many renouned posts in terms of page-views are constantly those that concentration on one utterly argumentative subject: comparison group and younger women. (Here’s “What Young Women Are Really Looking For From Older Men.”) […]

  21. […] Price: $ 12.95 Price: [wpramaprice asin="1552976351"] [wpramareviews asin="1552976351"]Cougar: A Guide for Older Women Dating Younger Men Today's liberated lifestyle has made room for a w…ng Younger Men Today's liberated lifestyle has made room for a whole new set of relationships — […]

  22. […] Is It Natural for Older Guys to Lust After Young Women? by Hugo Schwyzer GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", "other"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_bg", "ffffff"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_border", "222222"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_text", "666666"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_link", "000000"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_url", "999999"); GA_googleAddAttr("LangId", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Autotag", "books"); GA_googleAddAttr("Autotag", "entertainment"); GA_googleAddAttr("Tag", "longform"); GA_googleAddAttr("Tag", "longform"); GA_googleFillSlot("wpcom_sharethrough"); Share this:TwitterFacebookMoreDiggStumbleUponRedditEmailPrintLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

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  24. […] because he makes me feel like a woman. Written by islandgirl Find More Dating Older Women Articles Before I wrote this article I had a brief talk with my boyfriend who is 12 years older than I am ab…ns why he preferred dating a younger woman than woman on his age. His answers actually surprised me, […]

  25. […] magnet. If you can’t dazzle them with your brilliance, baffle them with your BS. It was an outrageous amount. Attracting men like magnet actually takes in the whole theory of attracting men like […]

  26. […] woman for decades (until you realized, that even well into your 50′s, you could still get younger women). So, you’ve become adept at the game of not noticing sags and hollows miraculously plumped […]

  27. […] the most popular piece I ever wrote for GMP: What Young Women are Really Looking for from Older Men. Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged Older Men & Younger Women | Leave a […]

  28. […] Least to Most Feminist — taps into my love of Disney and feminism, so it has to be included. When Older Guys Lust After Younger Women — just read it. This entry was posted in Others' Brilliance by admin. Bookmark the […]

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