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I can assure you that this has nothing at all to do, in the least, as this was never an experience of mine, with my personal life or experiences having dated men and women of a wide range of ages. It sounds to me like you're suggesting I have a personal bias on this issue, which I can assure you, I do not.

Rather, this is coming from both the kinds of statistics I quoted above (which demonstrate that this is a very real issue in relationships between young women and older men, quite specifically, though certainly, it can happen with other gender combinations: however, the pregnancy issue is no small thing, and gender inequality in our world also has a big impact) and observations in working in this field for many years and counseling many young women in the kinds of relationships with the kinds of dynamics I describe here. By all means, anyone who works in something where there is crisis care knows that we may often see a skewed demographic, which is why we will do things like consult broader studies and stats done in different contexts.

Given the vast number of people we serve here and the broad studies which have addressed this, I'm afraid I can't conclude that myself or anyone else working in reproductive health is simply not noticing the positives and choosing to "lash out" and make villains where there are none.

Rather, it's that, as I stated, especially with the youngest women and the widest range of ages, unhealthy or exploitive relationships appear to occur more frequently than the opposite, and sometimes the consequences -- which usually lay entirely on the younger woman's shoulders -- are severe and deserve address. Most of the feedback on this piece so far in email has been very positive, most often from women of all ages who have found this and have had experiences like this and express wishing someone had said these things to them before the relationship derailed their lives or really set them back.

Just for the record, based on all we know so far, rates of domestic violence or abuse are not higher in the GLB community or among GLB couples as you suppose they might be. When sexual orientation is the only thing we are dividing groups by per DV and abuse, the numbers usually show DV in around 25% of GLB relationships, and around 30% of heterosexual ones, with abuses and exploitation (and obviously coerced or forced pregnancy) which are physical and/or sexual overwhelmingly perpetrated by male partners. Verbal and emotional abuse is more 50/50 between the genders.

Editor & Founder, Scarleteen: Sex Ed for the Real World
Author, S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-to-Know Progressive Sexuality Guide to Get You Through High School and Col