There was a story in the news a couple months ago about a teacher having an affair with her 14 year-old student in the US. While this might be shocking, it is becoming quite common (not to this extent though) for older women to seek out younger partners or vice versa. For whatever reason, this has become a part of society and has added a new dimension to relationships.
First, there is nothing wrong with older women having younger men as long as they are two consenting adults. However, tradition has always dictated what relationships should be, so any shift from the norm usually causes some problems. A study of gender issues conducted by UWI called 'Why Man Stay So' also alludes to this point. They have found that factors such as women's liberation, harsh economic situations and foreign media intrusions are upsetting the 'natural order' of society. This is also supported by the views of a number of young men. The main reason why a lot enter or would want to be in a relationship like this is because they want to be taken care of. You see, these older women (most of the time) are usually professional women and so, the young men expect to be pampered. This is a common part of movie and entertainment scenes in the US, where age doesn't seem to be an issue in relationships and some of that is being adopted by Jamaica.
Another reason given for being with the older woman is sex. According to 'R', the main reason he wants an older woman is for financial security and because he would want to think that the sex would be better, seeing that older woman should be more experienced. However a long-term relationship doesn't seem to be on the agenda. And that is because a lot of these relationships are just for fun or for satisfaction of a need. This applies to both sexes, as two women whom I spoke with said that it was just plain old sex for some of them. You see, studies have shown that older women are at their sexual peak, while older men are experiencing diminishing sexual activeness. Therefore they seek out the young men to satisfy them where the men their age are faltering in bed.
It is interesting to note that these young men do not see themselves really settling down with older women as pointed out by '2K', who says it's not really a relationship but more for fun. Fun aside, it could be a sign that young men today are willing to use sex to get financial gains similar to what women have been doing for years. Maybe we are taking over from those women who have used sex to reach somewhere or get something?
Or maybe it's just a power trip. My friend 'Q' thinks it's a mutual sharing of power as both parties have no commitment to each other so they can do what they want. This view is interesting as it looks at the fact that men have always seen themselves as dominant and sex was one way of showing this dominance, but now there is a twist and they are now being paid for it instead of doing the paying. Dr Glenda Simms of the Women's Bureau thinks that young men who enter into relationships with older women are intrigued because they are no longer burdened by being the ones spending in the relationship, as is expected by younger girls. She argues that young men are tired of young girls whose only thought is to make sure they collect as much as possible before 'anything can gwaan' and says that since girls have always gone after older men, young men should also be able to go after older women. She thinks that relationships of this type are a challenge to the double standard of society. Women no longer want to remain where society has put them and young men seem to be embracing this new-found liberation of women, as it means less pressure for them in relationships.
Dameon Eunick is a freelance writer