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Wednesday, August 24, 2005 

A Question of Age

I'm still awake and quite listless. It must be all that back to school excitement that's got me all pumped up. Or it's the two Pepsis I shotgunned when I got home. I've been off caffeine for a while, so it hit me hard.

Anyway, I have a hypothetical that I've been kicking around. How much of an age difference is allowed between two people who are dating? Does that age difference change as the parties get older? Does the sex of the older party matter (is older man-younger woman more acceptable than younger man-older woman)?

Let's say there is someone like me, a 23 year old male. What is the socially acceptable age range for me to date? The WI law would say 18 as the youngest, but that is a legal answer. I'm looking for a cultural and sociological answer. I have often heard that the following formula should be applied: your age, divide by 2, add 7. I know, it seems silly. I would end up with 18.5. That is good enough for the state of WI, but is that good enough for society at large? What about the opposite direction? Would a 32 year old woman be acceptable for me to date?

I'm going to kick this around with a few people and see what kind of answers I get.

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  • I'm Steve
  • From Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
  • "There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." P.J. O'Rourke
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