Your Opinion on Age Gaps

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by Novalis, Feb 5, 2015.

  1. Novalis Registered Member

    Let’s talk,

    Short bursts, paragraphs, sentences – all are welcome.

    Which is more socially acceptable in your opinion?

    Older Man – Younger Woman

    Older Woman – Younger Man

    How much is too much? Five years? A decade?

    Can two people from different generations truly understand each other thoroughly?

    Do people have to be unbalanced psychologically (daddy issues etc), to want to be in a relationship with a much older person?

    Is it all preference?

    Anyways, thanks guys.
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  3. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    To start the ball rolling...

    Mostly, older man and young woman requires that the man be financially very able and willing to provide for the woman, or else the woman won't be interested. Older woman and younger man, on the other hand, may depend primarily on the physical attractiveness of the woman, or else the man won't be interested. There are some reasonable evolutionary explanations for this generalisation (which I am not claiming holds in all cases, by any means). Also, here I'm talking about large age differences (say 15 years and up). I think that such age differences are socially accepted, but they do tend to raise eyebrows as people try to work out "what's in it" for each of the parties involved.
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  5. TBodillia Registered Senior Member

    My friends and co-workers tell me I'm nuts for refusing to date or hook up with these "little girls." If I'm old enough to be your dad, you're a little girl. I'll point out to these people that claim I'm nuts that there are 18 year old boys in jail for child molestation simply because they turned 18 before their girlfriends reached the age of consent (they've been a couple for years and the girls is only 3-4 years younger than the boy). 18 year old locked up for having sex with a soon to be 16 year old girl and people wonder why I want nothing to do with women 20-30 years younger than me.

    The couple of women at work half my age that I actually talk to definitely have daddy issues.

    One little girl, 23 years old, broke my will and I still feel like a dirty old man because of her.

    How young is too young...I've been out of high school over 30 years now. If you were born after I graduated high school, that is too young for me.

    I think it is creepy. I will judge "you" about dating someone so much younger or older. But, if "you" both are happy, and nobody feels creepy, why should my opinion matter to you? My issues are my problems.

    Side note: I have a brother that people mistake as my son (there is a 17 year difference in ages). My mom's IUD was defective and subject to a recall oh so many years ago. Of course, the notice of recall came in too late to help!
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  7. wellwisher Banned Banned

    If you address this in terms of natural instinct, without too socially programmed cultural thinking, sex is connected is reproduction. It is not connected to some social agenda. Sex did not evolve to help boost the flower and jewelry industries but it appeared to make babies. The facts are, men can reproduce later in life, than can women ,since their sexual systems are far less complicated and easier to upkeep naturally.

    Women can reproduce up to middle age, but the same women, in her youth is far more reliable in terms of her fertility and her ability to reproduce healthy babies with fewer complications. There would be a natural or instinctive attraction between men of all ages, capable of reproduction, and younger women. This is the sweet spot of fertility, based on instinctive logic and natural selection.

    Men also tend to be attracted to trimmer women, at the instinctive level. This is because, trim appearance increases the odds of the female being youthful and not pregnant, both which will maximize fertility. Larger women could mean pregnant or a middle age spread, both of which offer lower fertility odds. Again this is instinctive and not artificially programmed to fit life styles. The logic is animal instinct without too many words.

    Older women and younger men are similar in that although men of all ages can have babies late into life, the young man has more sperm and sex drive. The young males doesn't need viagra. With diminishing female fertility, as she gets older, the higher sperm level and drive of the young man, slants the odds more in her favor. This is not the same as young female and older male, since the middle age female is far more rate limiting than the middle age male. As such, one would expect the older male and younger female to be more common in an instinctive situation.
  8. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Jumped right on that esoteric topic. Anything to confess to, James?

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  9. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    There are women who are gold diggers and are out there just waiting to find a older man with money so that she can outlive him and spend all the fortunes that await her after his demise. Of course many times the older men don't really care for they would rather have a gold digger than no one at all. The age differences can be great like 30 or more years separating them.
  10. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    It's hardly esoteric. My wife is 19 years younger than me -- 52 to my 71.

    I think the biggest problem with a May-December romance is that one party is extremely likely to die long before the other. This doesn't seem like a big problem when one is 25 and the other 45, but as they get older it begins to loom. Just as the young one begins to feel old, is set in her ways (I'm not going to keep writing "him/her" so I'm just using the most common pairing), and has spent half her life in a wonderful relationship tailored by mutual interests and attitudes... she finds herself a widow, weeping over an inconsolable loss, with a life oriented toward home instead of friends.

    This is not a problem for us because my wife has M.S., which makes our life expectancies fairly equal. She could easily die first, leaving an 85- or 90-year-old man with health problems, a life I couldn't imagine starting all over, and perhaps even one that I can't manage by myself. (For example, we already have 3 pets of 2 species and intend to gather more, how would I take care of them all by myself?--My eyesight might not be good enough to drive.--Are the couples we hang out with going to want to socialize with just me?--I'll be rattling around in this gigantic house.--Etc.)

    You have to let your heart be your guide. Sure, if the liaison is dishonest, then you'll have a problem. But you don't have to date somebody 20 years older or younger than you for that to happen. The beautiful woman with no earning power and five children marrying a rich guy for sheer security is a cliche. Yet many of those marriages turn out to be strong and sweet anyway.
  11. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Aw, come on, you know I was only teasing, Fraggle.

    Anyway, it's always been my firm opinion that the difference in ages between a man and a woman are entirely their own affair, you lecherous cradle-robber. Why, you filthy youth-exploiter, there are fish enough in the sea for any man or woman to catch, and no one to say them wrong! Just be happy in what you have, my perverted friend.


    Actually, regarding the young woman married to the rich older fellow, well, there are reasons enough in the world anyway. I'm enough of a biological psychologist that I get there are certain vectors of human behaviour. What the hell is love besides biochemistry anyway?

    Regarding the whole age thing, do you guys have kids that could take care of her? I expect my wife's parents to probably need our help at some point. The Western phenomenon of old age homes and an embarrassed view of senescence is sick.

    /not sarc
  12. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member


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    He is 85 she is 28
  13. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    But you raised a good point. Humor often does.

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    No, neither of us has children. (This is my third marriage. In fact our wedding was just a few weeks ago.)
    My parents are long dead; they'd be 105. Hers are a few years older than me, but they're quite happy since she's quite happy.
    There are plenty of American families with an older generation living in the house. There are also plenty of Americans in their 80s and 90s who still maintain their own homes.

    Since the typical American married couple both have jobs, it's often simply not practical to have elders in the home: nobody to take care of them for hours on end.

    Many elderly people simply require too much care for their children to keep up with it. I watched my second wife's mother fade away and there is absolutely no way she could have lived with us. My own mother, in contrast, lived alone for several years in her late 80s after my father died. Eventually she had a series of strokes that caused her to need constant, professional care. Again, there's no way we could have provided that.
  14. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    It is a pretty nasty problem, I agree. When you have a home-maker in the home, less so, and there's the rub: our economy makes slaves of man and woman both. They have done better than mere feudalism, where only the man's labour was indentured. Now it is all of us.
  15. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    What I found when my mum was in a rehab/senior care hospital is that many of the patients on the senior care side were not being seen by their own son's and daughter's which I felt was a very troubling thing. The reasons were that the kids weren't able to travel from wherever they lived, some as far away as New York, so they were just left in the senior care to waste away. Of course the patients were in need of medical care and that was being done but the need for visitations from their families was just not happening which left them in a very bad way moral speaking.

    It was if the parents were dumped into the senior care and left to die by their own kids. It was a sad thing to learn about but it happens allot these days. Being dumped into a senior living facility then never seen again makes the parents feel distraught and many give up the fight to live and pass away much earlier than would normally be happening. Having a family member, no matter who, to visit with seniors in a facility is probably as good as getting the right medications as they both bring about better health and good feelings.
  16. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    The per-capita GDP of civilization and per capita wealth increased by a factor of (roughly) 1,000 in the first 250 years after the Industrial Revolution. Modern scientific medicine, in tandem with civil engineering (covered sewers, running water, etc.) and a surplus-driven economy (as opposed to the scarcity-driven economy of pre-industrial times) has made people far healthier, as well as reducing the infant ("any child before puberty") mortality from 80% to a figure so low that most of us don't know anyone who lost a child.

    Before industry, 99% of the population were farmers, dependent on their own energy and that of their draft animals, and their work week was 100 hours or more. Today in the developed world, only 3-4% of the population work in the food production and distribution sector, and the average work week is <50 hours (except in the steadily shrinking number of despotic countries that stifle their citizens). Women now work outside the home because they are not needed 24/7 to sew their own clothes and make all their meals from scratch. In fact, a case can be made that industrialization has done more for women than for men, starting with the facts that
    They do not have to be married to survive.
    They do not have to have children if they don't want to.​
    In other words, I strongly dispute your hypothesis that "all of us are indentured." We spend less than one-third of our time working, and except for the poorest segment of the population, we're paid at rates that would have astounded anyone who lived 500 years ago, we live in homes that they would have found astounding both in size and comfort, and when we fall ill we can usually get cured, often without even visiting a doctor.

    There are still rich and poor people, but the percentage of the population who are rich would be unimaginable to anyone who lived before the Industrial Revolution, and the vast majority (again, excluding the despotic countries) of us would, indeed, be regarded as "rich" to them.

    And by the way, "retirement" is an Industrial Age concept. Most people now spend the last ten or twenty years of their lives not working! (So is education, by the way.)

    If you really don't enjoy life in the USA (or wherever you live), you surely have enough money to buy a plane ticket to Burma, Chad, Nicaragua or any of dozens of other places where you could live like your ancestors. But please buy a round-trip ticket because I am 100% certain that you'll want to come back before long.

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  17. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    I disagree - strongly in some areas - but I don't have the time for a long treatise. In this era, we have double-income people just getting by; taxes probably consume more than any villein was required to contribute to his lord's agriculture. My position is that it has created new systems of confiscation; I grant that education is more widespread, but what is it's inherent value? Feudalism did not end with industrialism; it transformed.
  18. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Oh come on. Every economy goes through the occasional downturn. I don't know how old you are (I'm 71), but my parents lived through the Great Depression, which was worldwide, at least among the industrialized Western nations. That was caused by lax rules governing banks.

    The current downturn has a similar cause. This time the rules were in place, but the Comptroller of the Currency appointed by may-he-rot-in-hell Backward Baby Bush was simply not doing his job of enforcing them. (Allowing banks to loan money to people who would never be able to pay it back, and selling the mortgages to pension funds before the mortgagees began to default. In other words, they were stealing from old ladies!)

    The real economic problem (in the USA, anyway) is that corporate leaders have been helping themselves to all the profits. In the past 40 years, the wealth of the top 1% of the population has grown astronomically, while the wealth of the bottom 90% (imagine calling 90% "the bottom"!) has stagnated. This is in fact not an economic problem but a political one. The economy is booming, but it doesn't "trickle down" anymore.

    Nonetheless, this is still a temporary problem which the government will eventually have no choice about repairing--since it's the bottom 90% who pay most of the taxes and the government wants its slice of the pie!

    In the meantime, most of those two-breadwinner families are managing to get by... at a level much higher than families enjoyed 150 years ago, when both the father and the mother worked 100-hour weeks--most of them in the grueling work of farming!
    But 99% of medieval tax revenue was spent on maintaining the lord's mansion and his art collection. The major part of the taxes collected by today's elected representative governments are spent on services for their constituents: schools, hospitals, roads, airports, police, courts, jails, etc. Sure, Congressmen draw salaries far out of proportion to the work they do, but compare our government to that of, say, India, where the salaries of legislators aren't much higher than the national average, so virtually every one of them solicits bribes.
    As I just explained, very little of that money goes to today's "lords." We have a much more effective and valuable infrastructure than our ancestors did. People in medieval Europe drank beer because all of their rivers were polluted by sewage! When coffee was brought in from Ethiopia, the effective IQ of the continent practically doubled, and real progress began.
    Speak for yourself. My university degree has provided me with a very comfortable life. When I graduated I got a job as a programmer (we call them "software engineers" now) on the first third-generation computers. Now I'm a technical writer. And today's "work" can be done sitting at a desk, so I haven't bothered to retire.
    Indeed. In the Western Hemisphere, the citizens found it very difficult to recruit other citizens to be yeomen, so they imported Africans (against their will) to do the hard work. We fought a war to end the practice, but almost all of the other nations on this side of the planet simply let slavery end by attrition. Industrial processes require workers to have a certain degree of initiative and pride in their work, and you don't get that from slaves. The practice vanished by 1890.

    If you really think that the modern American economy has very much in common with feudalism, you weren't paying attention in your history classes. Once you start building schools (which were made possible by the industrial phenomenon of printing books in large quantities), the children of your yeomen are going to find ways to have better lives than their parents.

    There are still many places on Earth where people are as bad off as our great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparents. It's an insult to them to put us, with our 40-50 hour work weeks, our private automobiles, our lavish air-conditioned rain-proof houses with one bed for every occupant, our shopping malls, our paid vacations, our hospitals, our universities, our pets (who eat better than they do!) and our elections, in the same category.

    If you don't believe me, burn your credit cards, give your money to the Salvation Army, smash your cellphone, dye your skin black, and buy a one-way ticket to almost any sub-Saharan African country.
  19. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    And why is that? Has the land suddenly become less fertile? Does it produce less food? Has the nutritional value of beef fallen, inexplicably? Has steel mined in the last ten years become too brittle to hold up buildings? Have humans suddenly begun consuming just too much oxygen, or sunlight? No. The failings of the capitalist economy are imaginary rules written on paper - and these days, on-line - by petit tyrans, each certain of their own capitalist probity; or even by those with no such delusions. A man in an office - or a group of similar, for which I think the proper term is a cabal - decides that such and such a thing has less value (or else they turn it over to a populace 50% of which thinks that evolution is a stretch, but not personal angels) and suddenly thousands of the same basically decent people are out of work. And in this silly ol' downturn, their families disintegrate, their lives are ruined. And why? Because someone, somewhere, thought it was a good idea for the sake of bin'ness. I've had enough of these people. Why haven't you had enough of these people? If your social security was gone or your saving wiped out because some cunt at a desk thought it made more business sense to do so, you'd be shouldering up with Che and Lenin. Why wait for such a pass, or wait hoping that no such pass comes to pass? What is the fucking point of it?

    You touch on the real problem here, Fraggle: that is what business is for. It is for the grouping of profits under those with the leverage to do so. Sometimes the lever breaks - and when that happens, which end of the little seesaw falls? Not theirs. Ours.

    I wonder. Without being an economist, I've seen the rightwinger rebuttals to that - that if you took all the money from the 1%, or even the 5%, and all of Hollywood, and a host of other un-tippable cows, that it would pay down the remotest fraction of debt that the society has accrued. They don't have that money either. They may look like they do, and they assuredly don't deserve it, but it's not to be found. Certainly you touch on another problem here: trickle-down might have worked, conceptually, at some time or another - I think there was a month in '87 when a sandwich fell out of someone's beard, or something - but as a process it too is subject to the whims of those able to leverage it. Which, I remind you, is not us. The people. You remember them.

    I could hardly object to the idea that we have better medicine, better housing, longer, easier lives and more toys. But why stop there?

    Until, as above, someone behind a desk somewhere decides that, after all, you really haven't earned it. Then it can all be taken with a stroke of the pen.

    A change of degree there, not state. You weren't paying close attention in your history classes either. Schools - even externally-financed schools - have existed for a long time, albeit with some restrictions as to their admission. But so what? Educate all the proles you like - if the system decides it doesn't particularly need them, you have an assortment of the educated underclass, starving just a bit more slowly or erratically. Congratulations. Now what? You're still at the mercy of the economic system that others have built.

    Sorry to hear of your insult, but I don't particularly care. The process is the same.

    America: love it or don't pester me about the underclass?
  20. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Market forces may be abstractions, but they are real. Economies are managed by humans, and even the best of us are fallible. Every time some fabulous new invention (today all artifacts of industrialization, or of its successor paradigm, information technology, but look back on what Iron Age technology did to Eurasia! Every two-bit tribe of nomads suddenly became a kingdom and began attacking the cities. [The Bronze Age didn't have this effect because copper and tin ore are almost never found in the same place so the cities had to make peace and trade with each other] is injected into the economy, the results cannot always be predicted accurately. Much of what's wrong with today's increasingly global economy can be traced squarely to the internet.
    As I just pointed out, this is not entirely true. "Wonderful" new technologies can destroy an economy, and at the very least perturb it mightily for anywhere from half a generation to two. Look at what radio did to Germany! Hitler quickly understood its power and use it to unite the country behind him. Before electronics, it was impossible for anyone to speak to more than 1,000 people at one time.
    You obviously did not get your degree in business administration and economics, as I did. The plutocrats know full well that as their paying customers become too poor to buy their products, their corporations will shrivel away.[/quote]I've had enough of these people. Why haven't you had enough of these people?[/quote]I have, although my ire is mitigated by understanding them far better than you seem to. Many of America's top-tier billionaires are quite aware of the need for a healthy, prosperous citizenry to buy their products. Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, George Soros...
    I doubt it. Communism (in a large country where everyone does not regard everyone else as family) doesn't work for the precise reason that it does not motivate its workers to actually work. Communist economies produce a negative surplus. Once the USSR dissipated the surplus wealth left by the royalty, and then the surplus they commandeered from the satellite countries, their economy began to collapse. Perhaps one needs a business degree to understand this; fortunately I have one.
    I'm far more afraid of religion than the titans of industry. I see a potential three-way Holy War between the Muslims, Christians and Jews.
    No business can make a profit without customers, and people have to have a reasonable amount of surplus wealth before they can afford to buy their products.

    This is why the economy began to mushroom at the end of the 19th century: it toggled from scarcity-driven to surplus-driven. All thanks to the Industrial Revolution.
    Some restrictions??? Before the invention of the printing press, the only people who could read and write were the priests, the princes, a modest fraction of the businessmen, and of course the Jews, who regarded literacy as an obligation so they could read the Torah for themselves instead of settling for a priest's interpretation. That tiny fraction of the population doesn't support very many schools.
    How many people do you know who could do their jobs if they weren't able to read? Without literacy, the corporate state would collapse in a generation.
    Others? I developed a lot of software that kept the wheels turning.
    I'm quite distressed by the fate of the underclass. Unfortunately I note that their fates were sealed in childhood, by, for example, growing up in homes with no father, or simply living in a neighborhood where everyone older than ten owns a fucking goddamned gun.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2015
  21. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

    What about age differences between same-sex couples?
  22. KitemanSA Registered Senior Member

    I recall reading about a society that had it right, IMHO. When you reached the age of ~15, you were expected (required) to marry someone who was thirty. When you reached ~30, you would divorce tht person and marry someone ~15. When you reached ~45, you divorced that person and married whoever you wanted, 45+.
  23. origin Heading towards oblivion Valued Senior Member

    That's freaking gross. The woman deserves 1/2 of his estate if she had sex with that withered old bag of viagra riddled shit.

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