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^^ +1 this.  As an undergrad, I kind of had this question myself, but I don't really see this as too much of a bad/awkward thing.  I'm planning on going to grad and I'm pretty sure I'll be in extracurriculars (marching band!!) where everyone's an undergrad (for the record, I know there's others who do/have done this, so I know I won't be alone :))

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@Visualizer As a woman, I am going to be frank with you: much of what you are saying has predatory overtones. I was an undergrad not that long ago, and if a male graduate student had approached me seeking anything simply because I was an undergrad alarm bells would immediately be going off in my head. More than shared mental development is necessary to make a connection with another person. If you "find that you can really hit it off with people" why target a younger demographic? If you're already doing well socially, why change things? Where there is an age difference of any significance (specifically in non-platonic relationships, which you seem to be seeking) there is frequently a power imbalance that could very easily get you into trouble. Listen to the voices in this forum. Find social stimulation elsewhere. Continue to seek help. Seek better help. And do not, under any circumstances, romantically pursue an undergraduate simply because she is younger. That is so inexplicably creepy.

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Frankly, I completely disagree. There's nothing inherently 'creepy' about pursuing younger girls romantically. 

I'm nearly 30 and continue to pursue girls aged 18-22. Why would I limit myself to a small pool of potential partners (especially when I live in a small college town)?

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1 hour ago, Comparativist said:

Frankly, I completely disagree. There's nothing inherently 'creepy' about pursuing younger girls romantically. 

I'm nearly 30 and continue to pursue girls aged 18-22. Why would I limit myself to a small pool of potential partners (especially when I live in a small college town)?

There's a world of difference between being open to dating girls in that age range, and actively (and exclusively?) seeking out women who are childlike (or maybe even underage). 

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Am I the only one who thinks it's super weird for a early to mid-20s person to actively seek out teenagers to befriend/date? 

@Comparativist

you'd date someone just out of high school who can't even drink? Anyway, in my experience as a younger woman dating men your age, the problem with having a preference for younger women is that a lot of the time it comes from a place of immaturity or manipulation. Certainly if you articulate it as "younger women are more pleasant to be around". Because we don't have the wherewithal or courage to call you out on your bad behavior? 

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1 hour ago, ExponentialDecay said:

Am I the only one who thinks it's super weird for a early to mid-20s person to actively seek out teenagers to befriend/date? 

@Comparativist

you'd date someone just out of high school who can't even drink? Anyway, in my experience as a younger woman dating men your age, the problem with having a preference for younger women is that a lot of the time it comes from a place of immaturity or manipulation. Certainly if you articulate it as "younger women are more pleasant to be around". Because we don't have the wherewithal or courage to call you out on your bad behavior? 

Yes, because I rarely drink these days anyways so it's not that important to me.

It's certainly possible it may derive from a lack of maturity, but I don't think it's exclusive to that. Does a guy that has a preference for dating older women necessarily stem from being too mature? I don't think so.

Younger women are more pleasant to be around (and this goes for both women or men for the record) because I think older people in general are less accommodating. They're often more abrasive, more cynical, less likely to be adjustable to their surroundings, and more close-minded. Whether you think this is a trait that is important in a potential partner is your prerogative, but I can personally relate to its value.

There are plenty of downsides for dating younger people as well, one of which is a much greater degree of naivety. And if you find that is important, you may not desire to date younger people.

There are tradeoffs just like anything else. 

I just don't think one should claim that someone who has a preference for a certain type of potential partner (whether that is age, race, or whatever) as 'creepy.' Because well, that would make me 'creepy' because I was recently dating a 19 year old. But if I was actually creepy, she wouldn't have dated me in the first place. 

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4 minutes ago, Comparativist said:

just don't think one should claim that someone who has a preference for a certain type of potential partner (whether that is age, race, or whatever) as 'creepy.' Because well, that would make me 'creepy' because I was recently dating a 19 year old. But if I was actually creepy, she wouldn't have dated me in the first place. 

Logic!

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36 minutes ago, Comparativist said:

Does a guy that has a preference for dating older women necessarily stem from being too mature? I don't think so.

A lot of young people of either gender who prefer to date older say that it's because they're too mature, certainly (as I'm sure you're aware). But I don't think there is any reason to assume that the young counterpart's motivations must map one-to-one to their older partner's. In fact, I'd argue there's reason to assume the opposite - since it's an unequal relationship with a significant power imbalance. 

Younger women are more pleasant to be around (and this goes for both women or men for the record) because I think older people in general are less accommodating. They're often more abrasive, more cynical, less likely to be adjustable to their surroundings, and more close-minded. 

In other words, you're saying that it's easier to mold a younger woman into your ideal partner? To, I don't know, subtly manipulate her into satisfying your needs, without much regard for her own? And I get it, the best part is that you have plausible deniability: nominally she is of age, so you're not committing assault in the legal sense, and practically it's not like you're forcing her, you're only guiding her (of course, she's too young to know what she wants or who she is - but maybe, spherically in a vacuum, she would've chosen the path you suggested to her anyway - it's not like we can compare against a counterfactual!). And of course sometimes these relationships work out, but that's no reason to ignore the fact that they exist in a highly imbalanced power dynamic that tilts in the older person's favor.

There are plenty of downsides for dating younger people as well, one of which is a much greater degree of naivety. And if you find that is important, you may not desire to date younger people.

Certainly, there are pros and cons to everything, but that's not really what I'm talking about. You're trying to portray your preference as ethically neutral, when in fact it's quite problematic. We can't help what we like, sure, but it does help to critically examine why you prefer what you prefer - none of us exist in a vacuum, and our seemingly natural desires may well be influenced by the social and cultural norms around us. 

I just don't think one should claim that someone who has a preference for a certain type of potential partner (whether that is age, race, or whatever) as 'creepy.' Because well, that would make me 'creepy' because I was recently dating a 19 year old. But if I was actually creepy, she wouldn't have dated me in the first place.

I'm sorry, I'm not clear on how this makes you a priori not creepy. For myself, yeah, the idea of a 30 year old graduate student dating a teenage girl who is presumably an undergrad at his institution does gross me out (and is counter most institutions' bylaws these days - are you at Cornell?). For myself, I've certainly dated a lot of graduate students in my undergrad days, as well as faculty, and I don't think it's strictly verboten or crucify anyone who does that, but I also don't think it's a behavior that deserves the kind of spirited defense you're giving it. It's a questionable practice, and I think people should regard it as such, above all people who engage in it. In my experience, men who actively seek out younger women - especially men who seek out much younger women in subordinate positions, such as yourself - are strictly to be avoided.

 
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On 1/22/2018 at 11:37 AM, ExponentialDecay said:

A lot of young people of either gender who prefer to date older say that it's because they're too mature, certainly (as I'm sure you're aware). But I don't think there is any reason to assume that the young counterpart's motivations must map one-to-one to their older partner's. In fact, I'd argue there's reason to assume the opposite - since it's an unequal relationship with a significant power imbalance. 

 

There is no inherent power balance. I don't have any de facto or de jure power over a woman that I hold no ability to coerce or manipulate. She makes her own decisions, and I hold no power over her to influence those decisions strongly in one direction or the other. So I struggle to see any power imbalance.

All relationships are a struggle for power (and on the flip side, a series of compromises), on both sides. She chose to allow me to talk to her. She chose to give me her number. She chose to go out with me. She chose to...you get the point. To suggest that, solely because I am older than her, that I hold an disproportionate amount of power in the relationship is completely fabricated in your mind.

 

On 1/22/2018 at 11:37 AM, ExponentialDecay said:

In other words, you're saying that it's easier to mold a younger woman into your ideal partner? To, I don't know, subtly manipulate her into satisfying your needs, without much regard for her own? And I get it, the best part is that you have plausible deniability: nominally she is of age, so you're not committing assault in the legal sense, and practically it's not like you're forcing her, you're only guiding her (of course, she's too young to know what she wants or who she is - but maybe, spherically in a vacuum, she would've chosen the path you suggested to her anyway - it's not like we can compare against a counterfactual!). And of course sometimes these relationships work out, but that's no reason to ignore the fact that they exist in a highly imbalanced power dynamic that tilts in the older person's favor.

 

Incorrect assumption #1.

Where did I say that? Because I value the optimistic, free-spirited, and open nature of younger women you jump to the conclusion that I strive for the bold? 

I love how you believe that a 19 year old girl, who is by all accounts a fully matured adult in our society, is inherently a victim or completely incapable of knowing what she wants or who she is. That's a little, uh, misogynist (lol) don't you think? 

For the record, the gaps in my past relationships have grown over time. I started by dating women older or the same age as I, then the age difference got larger over time. Conclusion? I like dating women aged 18-25. Why? For reasons I have already stated (among others that I don't feel the need to disclose here), and not least of which, because they are inherently - on average - more attractive in this age group. I mean, this isn't rocket science. We are biologically programmed to be attracted to women in this age group (in fact, even younger - but we have moved away from that as a society for obvious reasons).

On 1/22/2018 at 11:37 AM, ExponentialDecay said:

I'm sorry, I'm not clear on how this makes you a priori not creepy. For myself, yeah, the idea of a 30 year old graduate student dating a teenage girl who is presumably an undergrad at his institution does gross me out (and is counter most institutions' bylaws these days - are you at Cornell?). For myself, I've certainly dated a lot of graduate students in my undergrad days, as well as faculty, and I don't think it's strictly verboten or crucify anyone who does that, but I also don't think it's a behavior that deserves the kind of spirited defense you're giving it. It's a questionable practice, and I think people should regard it as such, above all people who engage in it. In my experience, men who actively seek out younger women - especially men who seek out much younger women in subordinate positions, such as yourself - are strictly to be avoided.

 

Incorrect assumption #2. 

Even if she was an undergraduate at my institution, it wouldn't make a difference anyways (unless, of course, she was one of my students). An undergraduate student is not in a subordinate position to a graduate student, how does that make any sense? I do not hold any power over random undergraduate student X. And furthermore, there are no rules against having romantic relationships with undergraduate students at my institution outside of those that you are professionally involved with.

I'm so confused at how you come to the conclusion that men who actively seek out younger women are to be avoided. You do realize that the vast majority of romantic relationships between men and women in the entire world are where the man is older than the woman right? By your logic, a significant amount of men in this world are to be avoided. 

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20 hours ago, Comparativist said:

By your logic, a significant amount of men in this world are to be avoided. 

They are.

 

It's not the fact that there is an age difference that is the problem anyway. It is the amount of the age difference coupled with how young that makes them. A 70 year old courting a 60 year old is not creepy. A 23 year old seeking out a 13 year old is creepy. 30 to 19 is definitely on the creepy end. At 19 the frontal lobe (the part of the brain that houses the decision making processes) isn't even fully developed. For an adult to intentionally seek out someone a decade their junior when that makes that person a teenager is HIGHLY questionable. Falling for someone younger is one thing. Seeking them out because they are so much younger is another thing entirely. 

There are life experiences and (hopefully) emotional development that create a power imbalance. A 30 year old has been taking responsibility for things such as food, rent, medical care, etc. for several years. A 19 year old (traditionally) still has those things provided for them by their parents or undergrad institution. They are not self-sufficient, which makes them more likely to need their older "partner"'s stability as opposed to desiring it. This makes it significantly easier to control them, as they depend on their partner the same way they depend on their parents - aware that the things they need that their partner provides can be taken away if they "misbehave".

For all intents and purposes, most 19 year olds are still children. They do not have the mental development of adults (no matter how "mature" they seem). They do not have the same responsibilities as adults. They are not allowed to participate in or are capable of many adult activities such as drinking, renting a car, etc. They do not have the life experience to fully understand how the world works. To seek someone so young specifically for their youth is unconscionable. 

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On 1/22/2018 at 3:03 AM, Comparativist said:

Frankly, I completely disagree. There's nothing inherently 'creepy' about pursuing younger girls romantically. 

I'm nearly 30 and continue to pursue girls aged 18-22. Why would I limit myself to a small pool of potential partners (especially when I live in a small college town)?

Also, (heterosexual) men should be interested in women, not girls. I feel like that should be apparent.

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20 hours ago, Comparativist said:

There is no inherent power balance. I don't have any de facto or de jure power over a woman that I hold no ability to coerce or manipulate. She makes her own decisions, and I hold no power over her to influence those decisions strongly in one direction or the other. So I struggle to see any power imbalance.

The power imbalance exists because you are a grown-ass man dating a teenager who was legally a child less than 12 months ago. You absolutely hold power to influence the decisions of a person you're dating - any of us do, that is the nature of personal relationships - and your power is magnified by her inexperience and naïveté. That you can't be persecuted for what you're doing doesn't make what you're doing okay. 

Because I value the optimistic, free-spirited, and open nature of younger women you jump to the conclusion that I strive for the bold? 

I'm not sure what "strive for the bold" means, but yes, that you think optimism, free-spiritedness etc are somehow inherently tied to a woman's age is extremely gross. If you said that about Asian women, but regarding submissiveness and domesticity, you'd be racist.

That's a little, uh, misogynist (lol) don't you think?

It is no more misogynist than noting that women tend to be more subject to sexual abuse than men, or that women get paid less than men in positions of commensurate experience. Identifying a disprivilege is not equivalent to supporting it. It is harmful to pretend like differences don't exist when they do. That said, you're pompously mansplaining to me how I'm supposed to feel about men your age dating women my age, and that is indeed misogynist.

because they are inherently - on average - more attractive in this age group. I mean, this isn't rocket science. We are biologically programmed to be attracted to women in this age group (in fact, even younger - but we have moved away from that as a society for obvious reasons).

This gets better and better. Please, enlighten me re what those reasons are: why is it "obvious" that you shouldn't fuck a 16 year old teenager, but not a 19 year old one?

I'm so confused at how you come to the conclusion that men who actively seek out younger women are to be avoided.

By experience, my own and other women's.

You do realize that the vast majority of romantic relationships between men and women in the entire world are where the man is older than the woman right?

Sure. Firstly, on average, the man is older than the woman by 1-2 years - 10 years is a few standard deviations out. Secondly, that something is typical doesn't necessarily mean that it's right or even natural. In the entire world, women are routinely sexually abused. That's not right. In large parts of this planet, women are barred from educations and jobs and forced into marriages. That's not right. To pick another example, lots of people don't brush their teeth twice a day for at least 2 minutes. That's not right either.

By your logic, a significant amount of men in this world are to be avoided. 

Oh yes - but not because most men seek to date teenagers when they're in their 30s. By that scale you are considerably more depraved than the majority of men that I'd nevertheless avoid.

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7 hours ago, ShewantsthePhD101 said:

They are.

 

Wow. A little word of advice...buying into the myth that most men are predators or not to be trusted is not going to bring happiness to your life.

7 hours ago, ShewantsthePhD101 said:

It's not the fact that there is an age difference that is the problem anyway. It is the amount of the age difference coupled with how young that makes them. A 70 year old courting a 60 year old is not creepy. A 23 year old seeking out a 13 year old is creepy. 30 to 19 is definitely on the creepy end. At 19 the frontal lobe (the part of the brain that houses the decision making processes) isn't even fully developed. For an adult to intentionally seek out someone a decade their junior when that makes that person a teenager is HIGHLY questionable. Falling for someone younger is one thing. Seeking them out because they are so much younger is another thing entirely. 

Most neuroscientists believe that brain development doesn't conclude until roughly the mid-20s. Are you suggesting that people shouldn't date until their mid-20s? Because that would be a completely asinine position. 

 

7 hours ago, ShewantsthePhD101 said:

There are life experiences and (hopefully) emotional development that create a power imbalance. A 30 year old has been taking responsibility for things such as food, rent, medical care, etc. for several years. A 19 year old (traditionally) still has those things provided for them by their parents or undergrad institution. They are not self-sufficient, which makes them more likely to need their older "partner"'s stability as opposed to desiring it. This makes it significantly easier to control them, as they depend on their partner the same way they depend on their parents - aware that the things they need that their partner provides can be taken away if they "misbehave".

This argument is problematic. While it may be true that this could occur, it is not inherent. But your argument becomes more problematic when you extend it.

You are essentially arguing that anyone that is dependent on some type of individual or group of individuals is not capable of being in a relationship. You are aware that much of the world women do not leave home until they are actively courted by, or married to, a man. Your argument would suggest that every single one of these arrangements are problematic. Furthermore, what about someone who has a disability that otherwise prevents them from being independent, are they not capable of being in a relationship?

Secondly, broadly speaking 'dependence' is not necessarily a situational trait - it's a personality/emotional trait. There is no inherent connection to a young adult being any more or less emotionally dependent on a potential partner than someone much older. 

7 hours ago, ShewantsthePhD101 said:

For all intents and purposes, most 19 year olds are still children.

I completely disagree. I also think it's highly problematic to portray young adults that way, for myriad of reasons. 

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7 hours ago, ExponentialDecay said:

The power imbalance exists because you are a grown-ass man dating a teenager who was legally a child less than 12 months ago. You absolutely hold power to influence the decisions of a person you're dating - any of us do, that is the nature of personal relationships - and your power is magnified by her inexperience and naïveté. That you can't be persecuted for what you're doing doesn't make what you're doing okay. 

 

 

I'm not sure what "strive for the bold" means, but yes, that you think optimism, free-spiritedness etc are somehow inherently tied to a woman's age is extremely gross. If you said that about Asian women, but regarding submissiveness and domesticity, you'd be racist.

 

How exactly is someone's power inherently magnified in a relationship with an age difference? You keep stating this position but have done nothing to back it up. 

The bold, was what I put in bold text, was your silly claim that because I chose to date younger women I am entering into relationships for the purpose of controlling my counterpart. And no, I wouldn't be racist, lol.

7 hours ago, ExponentialDecay said:

It is no more misogynist than noting that women tend to be more subject to sexual abuse than men, or that women get paid less than men in positions of commensurate experience. Identifying a disprivilege is not equivalent to supporting it. It is harmful to pretend like differences don't exist when they do. That said, you're pompously mansplaining to me how I'm supposed to feel about men your age dating women my age, and that is indeed misogynist.

So debating a topic on a discussion board with a woman is now mansplaining? Here we go with the victim complex again...

7 hours ago, ExponentialDecay said:

This gets better and better. Please, enlighten me re what those reasons are: why is it "obvious" that you shouldn't fuck a 16 year old teenager, but not a 19 year old one?

 

Because we set a threshold (which, of course, is arbitrary) of what constitutes a reasonable age to which we believe that an individual is capable of making serious decisions like entering into romantic partnerships with people. It's not perfect by any means...but we as a society decided that 17 or 18 is a reasonable age of consent. This isn't that complicated. 

 

7 hours ago, ExponentialDecay said:

Sure. Firstly, on average, the man is older than the woman by 1-2 years - 10 years is a few standard deviations out. Secondly, that something is typical doesn't necessarily mean that it's right or even natural. In the entire world, women are routinely sexually abused. That's not right. In large parts of this planet, women are barred from educations and jobs and forced into marriages. That's not right. To pick another example, lots of people don't brush their teeth twice a day for at least 2 minutes. That's not right either.

Oh yes - but not because most men seek to date teenagers when they're in their 30s. By that scale you are considerably more depraved than the majority of men that I'd nevertheless avoid.

Incorrect. Averages across the world range from 2 years to 7. Furthermore, in the US roughly 32% of married couples are where a man is at least 4 years or older than the woman. Over 15% of those are of an age gap between 6 and 14 years. This is not as uncommon as you are claiming.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_disparity_in_sexual_relationships

Lastly, the bold is a complete mischaracterization. I never said I 'sought' to date ''teenagers.' I said I prefer to date women in the range of 18-26. 

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When will you be old enough that the age difference between you and a teenager bothers you? If you haven't found a life partner by the time you're 40, will you still prefer to date 18 year olds? What about when you're 50? 60? What's your line? Is there one?

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2 hours ago, hats said:

When will you be old enough that the age difference between you and a teenager bothers you? If you haven't found a life partner by the time you're 40, will you still prefer to date 18 year olds? What about when you're 50? 60? What's your line? Is there one?

I will honestly say that when I was 18, I dated a 45 year old man.  I was attracted to the power differential (Marine Corps officer). Now that I'm in my 30s, I find this very creepy. There was nothing I was able to offer a 45 year old man when I was 18 other than being arm candy. 

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Okay, I have my own story about "hanging out with" undergrads.  Don't do it. I am coming from a different perspective.  I WAS that undergrad, though I was 29. I have been dating one of my former professors for two years now. He was on a one-year contract and called me a few days after his contract ended. It worked for us, HOWEVER, it's the biggest pain I have had to deal with so far in my academic career and that career is just getting started.  I told the department immediately. There is no rule against it in the faculty or student handbook. Interestingly, that section has not been updated for the uni since 1972. They may want to look into that.

I had two classes with said professor, now boyfriend. That means that every, single, ever-loving thing I ever did in class had to be reviewed by an objective third party so there could be no favoritism. Luckily, I had a crush on said professor and had tried to impress him all semester by working extra hard in class. Still, there is a stigma among my peers that I slept with him for good grades. So, you have an administration issue and a reputation issue. If I get further into my career, it will have to be explained to colleagues. There was also animosity with my mentor/advisor because they didn't get along at all.  Boyfriend is happy-go-lucky and extroverted. Advisor is serious and introverted. They almost came to blows at one point because of an off-handed remark. I still get reprimanded for the relationship by my mentor because he thinks I can do better and that I'm throwing my career away. 

So, the question isn't always about age, but about power. I have no problems with older men dating younger women or even TA/Professor/Grad/Undergrad relationships. If I had a problem with it, I would be a hypocrite. However, you do have to ask yourself if it is worth it. Is she worth risking your reputation and career? Are you going to throw away years of work for a one-night stand or is this something long term? Do you want that stigma? Do you want to be known as the prof/TA that sleeps with students? What will your colleagues think about you?

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3 hours ago, hats said:

When will you be old enough that the age difference between you and a teenager bothers you? If you haven't found a life partner by the time you're 40, will you still prefer to date 18 year olds? What about when you're 50? 60? What's your line? Is there one?

Firstly, for Christ sakes, can you people stop skewing the representation of my position by using the term 'teenagers' and making statements like 'prefer to date 18 year olds.' 

To answer the question...I highly doubt I'll have much in common with 18-26 year olds when I'm 50 or 60, so no, probably not. 

I also don't see why an attractive young woman would date such an old man anyways...they should have plenty of suitors of higher value.

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We're not skewing the representation of your position. You like dating teenagers. 19 is teen-aged. You also use the term "girls" as opposed to "women" to discuss those you desire to have intimate relationships with. Not only are they not adults, it is clear that you do not even conceive of them as such.

In reference to your earlier point, I do not think people need to wait until their mid twenties to date. As you pointed out, that would be asinine. I think until they are in their mid twenties they need to date people nearer them in age. Why any adult would want to be with a child (or if it makes you feel better, "a young person with a brain that is not yet fully matured")makes zero sense outside of pedophilia.

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25 minutes ago, ShewantsthePhD101 said:

We're not skewing the representation of your position. You like dating teenagers. 19 is teen-aged. You also use the term "girls" as opposed to "women" to discuss those you desire to have intimate relationships with. Not only are they not adults, it is clear that you do not even conceive of them as such.

Don't play coy, you know exactly what you and all the others are doing: you are deliberately mischaracterizing my position in order to make my position sound more abhorrent than it is. I have repeatedly stated I prefer to date girls aged 18-26 yet you and others have continually made statements suggesting otherwise. 

I have dated girls in all age ranges. Yes, I dated a 19 year old when I was 29. That doesn't mean I 'like to date teenagers.'

I use girl to signify young women all the time, just as many other people do. No different than calling a man a 'guy.'

25 minutes ago, ShewantsthePhD101 said:

In reference to your earlier point, I do not think people need to wait until their mid twenties to date. As you pointed out, that would be asinine. I think until they are in their mid twenties they need to date people nearer them in age. Why any adult would want to be with a child (or if it makes you feel better, "a young person with a brain that is not yet fully matured")makes zero sense outside of pedophilia.

Poor argument. You do know that every individual's brain develops different right? Some people have full development at 20 and others at 30. We also have no idea what brain development stage someone is at unless they are tested. Suggesting that people throughout their twenties should only date people of the same age is ridiculous. 

I personally think the fact you are calling people well into their late teens, early twenties, and mid twenties children is fucking embarrassing personally. This type of mentality is why universities today are glorified daycares and extensions of childhood as opposed to serious teaching institutions. 

An 18 year old is an adult. Full stop. They are capable of being independent, making rational decisions, and achieving profound things. They are not children and should not be treated as such. 

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Look, friend, nobody would have a problem if you said: "The dating pool in my town tends to skew young, and I like dating women who like exploring and trying new things—which has tended to correlate with women being in their early or mid twenties. That structural availability plus my personality preference has influenced my dating history in a younger direction. I don't drink, too, which reduces the sense of the social age gap. As I age, I may always like having high-energy partners—which again correlates with 'women younger than me'—but I expect that when I am 35 I will be interested in women 20-30, at 40, maybe 25-35, that kind of thing." I don't think it's a great dynamic to be as prevalent in our society as it is, but it's not something I'm going to criticize at an individual level. I don't have a problem with you thinking to yourself, "Younger women are especially fit and attractive!" In the privacy of your head, that's your business. (I advise you not to say that to an actual woman. It is unlikely to be well received.) But you keep saying 18-26 is your preferred range. From what you've said about your age—over 30?—we're arguing that you should move your minimum expected age to, like, 20. We're not arguing that you can't make an exception, that a relationship between an 18 year old and a 32 year old can't be cool, but as a former teenage woman, I would feel a lot better if that would be an exception, rather than part of the age range you say you're still looking for.

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@Comparativist lots of things that are legal are generally a bad idea, because they are immoral (socially suboptimal) or stupid (personally suboptimal). Laws and institutions do not exist to regulate every infintesimal aspect of your life, as if you were living in the warped world of We. Regulators assume that individuals have the wherewithal to look out for themselves in most cases where the Coase Law applies, or at least to listen when large swathes of others tell them that what they're doing is creepy and absurd. So please: what is the physical difference between fucking a 16 year old and fucking an 18 year old that makes the latter okay and the former not?

Why do you keep requesting science, arguments, and sources from me when you have none? Your argument boils down to, 18 year old girls are hot and not jailbait so I like to date them. Nothing about that is scientific. My argument boils down to, dudes like you are creepy, gross, and usually misogynists. I have no illusions about convincing you that you're creepy and gross, or even that you should just maybe think about why you dislike women your age and need to be 10 years older than a woman to be vulnerable with her. Your personal development is none of my concern.

Telling me that men like you are not creepy and gross because reasons is absolutely mansplaining. How many 30 year old dudes did you date as a 19 year old girl? I'm gonna guess 0. I'm speaking from experience and you're speaking out of your ass. That's not in itself mansplaining - but it becomes mansplaining when you presume to tell a woman what the female heterosexual dating experience looks like because you think you know better.

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