But when the topic is broached, it’s important to make sure both voices are heard and that they understand each other well.
It’s not just one person deciding and the other goes along with it,” Meier said.
Bennett, a senior in college, and Thompson, a junior in high school, didn’t think about dating each other when they first met.
“I remember that we were paired up as study buddies for the eight-week session.
The two-year age gap pattern also shows up in adulthood, with the average age of marriage for women at 25 or 26, and for men at 27 or 28, said Ann Meier, an associate professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Minnesota. Societal expectations tend to dictate that the older male-younger female dynamic will create one-sided pressure, and perhaps, submissiveness.
“In terms of it being problematic, there are two sides to the coin,” said Meier, who studies the effects of adolescent sex on mental health.
It’s also important that girls advocate for what they want, whether it’s sexual or not.