Add new comment

Loren: that paragraph IS in there, actually, right at the very beginning of the piece. I also make very clear that I'm not speaking to readers whose boyfriends are the exceptions to all of this.

But we also are not going to say that anyone needs to go nuts to try and seek out "the one older guy" or the exception to the rule in the way you're suggesting. We're of the mind that people should always seek out partners, no matter their ages, who treat them with care and respect. The reason this article is up about age disparities isn't because we have some sort of bias, but rather because we know, from statistics and working in this field for so long (this is not just about a few girls we know, as the statistics in the piece make clear), that the sort of dynamics we describe in the piece ARE more common with much-older boyfriends and much-younger partners.

Additionally, I don't think it's sound to put all the responsibility on one person for finding someone who doesn't behave in a certain way: in other words, as you're saying, it's simply up to the girl to "find the right guy." It's also up to guys to BE "the right guy," which is one reason I'm calling out these behaviours.

I certainly hope, as I would for anyone, that the guy you're involved with isn't like this and does continue to behave the way that he has: how people behave when we first meet them often isn't how they always behave. I just also hope that reading something like this gives you an awareness so that if he begins to act differently, you can see potential trouble coming a bit better.

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