Although adolescents know right from wrong and understand consequences, she explained, "their ability to carefully consider these matters is somewhat limited relative to adults." Sexual relationships and marriages between adult men and adolescent girls have very been common historically and continue to be in many other cultures.But experts seem to agree that in contemporary American society the potential harm to a young woman depends on both on her age and how big the age gap is with her partner."The irony is they find out after the fact that these men were 'sowing their wild oats' with them." Older women interviewed about the relationships they had as teens felt quite differently."They had very little good to say at all when they were older: many were angry, really angry," Philips said.
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.As the age gap increases, Manlove explained, the likelihood of using contraceptives decreases.Judy Prays, a 24-year-old graduate student living in Atlanta, dated older men from the time she was 16 -- intentionally. "I thought it was so romantic and glamorous and adventurous," she said. I was interested in the other person being in control of everything, being the smarter one, the stronger one."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 you initially marvel over his fancy home and career, you will quickly learn that he must work hard (and often) to pay the bills and continue climbing the corporate ladder.Sometimes, this means less attention for you and almost always means that you and bew cannot be together every waking moment.There can be physical consequences for young women in these sexual relationships, too.Child Trends, a non-profit organization in Washington, D.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.