I just read an interesting article about older men interested in much younger women. The article was written by gender studies professor Hugo Schwyzer,a weekly columnist at The Good Men Project. His recent post, Is It Natural For Older Men To Lust After Young Women?, offers some good insight into the topic.
"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."
Schwyzer hits it right on the head. Pornographic magazines, film, and mainstream magazines, film and other forms of media tell us that not only is youth important but it is vital. Not only does the media spew these messages but these views are largely aimed towards women rather than men.
There is a stereotype that aging men can become increasingly more attractive as they age but women are lucky if they can "age gracefully." I can't tell you how often I have heard women my age drool over older film stars such as, Harrison Ford, Clint Eastwood, Robert Redford and others. Women on the other hand, get comments like, "She looks good for her age."
Although, I have met women who lust after older men, I have NEVER met a woman who lusts after much younger men or boys. I have however, met adult men who make crude comments about 16 year old girls.
Schywzer addresses this issue as well.
"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."
It's frustrating to know that there is an abundance of men who are invested in the theory that men just can't help themselves, and it is "natural" for adult men who want much younger females. Men who have no conscience (or very little conscience) about this issue, are most likely willing to embrace, and hide behind the theory that men cannot help themselves. It's as if the theory excuses them.
Schwyzer says it beautifully when he asserts, "Part of being a good man is matching your language to your life, matching your desires and your values."
A thinking man may take the time out of his day to consider why he is so interested in significantly younger women. If there is some guilt involved, I'd encourage men to not dismiss that. Unfortunately, so much of the influences of patriarchy, have affected men and women from a very young age so that we grow up thinking that what may not be natural, certainly is.
Let's not high-five men for checking out significantly younger women. Let's not glorify them as if oogling or dating young women makes any man more of a man.
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