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Teen boys also expressed less confidence in navigating relationships than girls of the same age.That helps explain what is fairly common knowledge — age gap relationships among teens tend to be between older males and younger females.“If the couple is open and understanding with their partner, then there shouldn’t be many difficulties in the relationship,” Meier said.“And keep the parents informed about the status of their relationship.“It’s also important that girls advocate for what they want, whether it’s sexual or not. Despite how much you feel your partner loves and respects you in the individual relationship, we’re all influenced by broader societal norms.” Jessica Murphy of Apple Valley learned a hard lesson after her relationship with an older man didn’t end “happily ever after.” At 15, she met Devin, a 24-year-old, on a college tour.
Seventy percent of teens date a partner within a year of their own age, Meier said, though 30 percent dating outside the customary range is still a “substantial minority.” Either way, asking tough questions and allowing common sense to prevail should allow age gap relationships to be on the same footing as same age ones.
“Risks of forced or unwanted sex are higher when you have an older male partner.
And risks of depression and lowered self-esteem are higher when you have an older male partner.
But because teens have an older partner doesn’t mean they experience forced sex.
So the risk is higher, but only to that percentage of teens who have an older partner.” It might mean that age gap couples “need to communicate more than they would in a same age relationship,” Meier said.