Doug is a wonderful man and we love him." While an age disparity like the 35 years between Hutchison and Stodden is by no means the norm, the recent openness around relationships involving huge age gaps -- especially the ' willingness to feature the Cox and Castimatidis nuptials -- suggests that they may be becoming less stigmatized. How does entering into a relationship with an older man before turning 18 -- or even 20 -- affect the young woman involved?"When you start stretching decades and you're talking about young girls, under 19 or so, it's probably problematic," said Dr.When it comes to dating, there’s an unscientific, but prevailing opinion that older men want younger women and vice versa.
"It's probably not healthy, or not the most 'normal' relationship."They were pretty much disgusted." Philips argued that individual needy girls and exploitative men are not the only factors driving these relationships."From music videos, to porn, to Disney, this is all sits within this bigger cultural context of media images and cultural messages that absolutely eroticize and hyper-sexualize teen girls," she said.While several psychiatrists cautioned against judging relationships like Cox and Catsimatidis' without knowing the specifics and what each partner is bringing to the table psychologically, studies show that there can be long-term emotional repercussions for teen girls who have sex with older men. Ann Meier, a professor of sociology at the University of Minnesota, studied data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health and found that compared to teen girls with a same-aged partner, girls in 7th through 12th grades who had sex with a partner more than one year older had higher levels of subsequent depression and lower levels of self-esteem."If they're with a male who has more power and status," because he is older, "this might make it harder for young women to say, 'No I don’t want to have sex,'" Meier said.Numbers culled from various dating sites have consistently shown both sexes prefer to date down the age spectrum rather than up. ), is one of the largest websites and apps designed to help users find their mates, but it works in an unconventional way.Users allow the app to access their Facebook profile, and people are then are paired based on interests."Based on 29 years of practice," Lee added, "I don't think you could be that mature at 17. Mani Pavuluri, director of the Pediatric Brain Research and Intervention Center and professor of psychiatry at the University of Illinois Chicago, teenage brains are still in the process of developing until age 19 or 20.Before that, teens' "ability to consider and use judgment is still maturing," Pavuluri said, adding that peer pressure can further impact the impulsiveness of teenagers' choices.The teenagers didn't believe they were being exploited, and no one reported feeling like a victim.Among the perceived benefits of their relationships were admiration from their peers and their partner's material assets.