But Brateman says we should be careful about making that assumption — which is based on a mostly outdated stereotype — and about using mocking terms such as opportunists, cougars, gold diggers.
“All these labels reflect a deep-rooted sexism and judge women,” she says.
“It’s not whether she can handle it, it’s more about what she’s looking for.
Whether you’re looking at the younger person or older person, they all get something out of it.
Lisa Brateman, a psychotherapist and relationship specialist, says they tend to have distinct psychological traits. With a 20-year age gap, I would question what’s going on in her life.
As she describes the younger woman, older man scenario, “A woman in her 20s has a lot more options than any other time in her life. There’s usually an underlying thing, an emotional or psychological thing getting played out.” Julie Albright, a sociologist at the University of Southern California, agrees and explains of the younger partner, “Sometimes what happens in these relationships is that they are looking to fulfill some kind of a psychological need.
This was a question discussed on social media in response to the romance brewing between characters on Fox’s show “911″ played by Connie Britton (51 in real life) and the much younger Oliver Stark (26).
” Celebrity relationships with significant age differences have always made headlines: Jerry Seinfeld and Jessica Sklar, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones, among others.
Media outlets often publicize them this way because they know readers pass judgment: Is he a lech? But when both parties in a relationship are above the age of consent and not abusive in any way, should we still be labeling it as sketchy — or give them the benefit of the doubt and assume it’s a connection that works?
It also bumps up for a second marriage — to 5 percent and 6 percent, respectively.
The public sometimes lauds these older woman-younger man relationships for flouting the stereotype — witness the plaudits for French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte, who’s 24 years older — but there still can be bias against them, too, as with the discussion around “911.” Regardless of a clickbait headline designed to incite reactions, are these relationships emotionally and psychologically healthy?