Teenagers dating older men

What's different about the Hutchinson-Stodden marriage and the Cox-Catsimatidis wedding is that the grooms were willing to enter so publicly into relationships with teenagers, with the apparent approval of their brides' parents.Catsimatidis, who is now 21, told that her father "wouldn't have given me up to anyone else," while Stodden's mother Krista was quoted as saying, "We are totally supportive of this marriage.

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C., has looked at contraceptive use amongst teen girls and found that those dating men who are 3 to 4 years older are at higher risk of STD and pregnancy than those having sex with boys their own age.

"Even if the girl would prefer to be using some type of contraceptive, she's less likely to do so if the guy has more power in the relationship," said Jennifer Manlove, a senior research scientist with the organization.

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.

For her, they were positive experiences -- she even saw the potential for marriage with some of the men.

For many women, though, these relationships look very different in hindsight.

While you figure out the math, let me be clear that I’ve met several other women in their early- to mid-20s who also prefer to date from a much older pool for various reasons.

And while cliché dictates that, sure, men are into it, there’s been some recent research done about younger females often gravitate toward mature men.

"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.

Anyone who’s been in a serious long-term relationship knows the journey isn’t without certain challenges, and when you’re dating an older man—we’re talking a decade or more—things can get even trickier.

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