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Typically, and rather exhaustingly, this relentless age-gap discourse centers around relationships between older men and younger women.Love in our 60s : Options for the Older Women
In addition to the shock and disgust, age gaps often generate a lot of anger. But again, the trajectory of that anger is different when the traditional gender dynamic is reversed. When an older man is dating a younger woman, he attracts anger for what is perceived as an abuse of power; when an older woman dates a younger manpeople are angry at her for still possessing power despite lacking what we consider two of the most important forms of sexual currency for a woman, youth and beauty.
Older people of all genders have been having sex with younger people of all genders for as long as people have been having sex with each other at all, and for almost as long, everyone else has been mad about it. Regardless of the gender dynamics at play, people will find a way to attack and criticize any relationship with a ificant age gap.
As sex therapist and author Gigi Engle noted in a recent article for The Body, relationships with an age gap somehow remain heavily stigmatized even in an era in which society is evolving beyond most other sexual taboos of a more repressive past.
Prejudice, even in forms that remain socially sanctioned, is always rooted in fear and hatred. While we may not generally recognize discrimination against age gaps as the toxic social ill for which we now see racism, sexism and other forms of bias and bigotry, shame and disdain for a relationship based entirely on the age of the parties involved is very much a form of prejudice.
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Of Course the Internet Hates This Year-Old Man and His Year-Old Girlfriend