What do you think about a woman who dates a much younger man?
Do you think about the relationship differently if it’s a man dating a much younger woman?
I was asked as a sociologist about this last week for a piece in USA Today, and why society and people tend to judge harshly women who date much younger men.
With quickly shifting gender, sexual, and relationship roles in our society, we will likely see more of this. But in the meantime, there is a lot of stigma and shame projected onto these women.
As I said for the article interview:
“If the woman is much older, people make assumptions like, ‘Does she wear the pants? What does this mean about her need to be in charge or her huge sexual appetite'”— judgments that sociologist and sex coach Jenn Gunsaullus says are normalized when applied to men. “When you put older women in that same position, people don’t know what to do. It doesn’t match their expectations, so they judge and stigmatize it.”
This is a good example of why the hell do we care what other people do in their relationships, if it’s consensual, non-harmful, and makes them happy?
Read the whole article here: “Olivia Wilde, Harry Styles relationship: Age-gap stigma tied to sexism.”
However, it is behind a paywall, so you can also check out the posted images below.
~Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus, Sociologist, Intimacy Speaker, & Relationship Coach