All women may be at risk of sexual assault, but risk is not evenly distributed across the ages. Younger women are at higher risk, with those ages 17-24 and in college at the peak of peril.
Among the several reasons that younger women are at higher risk is that they are more often more trusting, and more easily misled. So when I read this article on why some* men in their late 30s/40s say they prefer to date younger women, the similarities were quite impressive. Each respondent phrased their answers more agreeably, but each one came down to “because younger women are easier to control.”
Some select quotes, and my interpretations:
They don’t (yet) have a laundry list of what they want in a partner, in a career, in a life. . . . I think that kind of attitude appeals to thirty-something guys who want a relationship to really be on our terms.
Interpretation: Because she doesn’t have strong opinions of her own (or I can safely ignore them and she’ll go along), I get to call the shots.
They tend to be untainted by experiences that have hardened older women. Like when a woman’s been lied to a lot after years of dating, she always thinks you’re lying to her. And that’s a turnoff. Younger women are less cynical and that’s a big draw.
Interpretation: I can get away with lying to her.
She’s interested in the here and now, in going out, in having fun. It may sound like a cliché, but it’s reality. I’m not anti-marriage, I’m just anti-agenda.
Interpretation: I’m not really anti-agenda, I’m for my own agenda and only my agenda.
You can play ‘cruise director’—show her all your secret favorite places that she probably hasn’t experienced yet. They’re easier to impress and very willing to be escorted around.
Interpretation: I get to call the shots.
In short, it’s all about the power.
And that is the connection with sexual assault. I’m not asserting that the guys interviewed for this article are rapists, not at all. What I am saying is that there’s a LOT of overlap in what these middle-aged men were looking for and what most serial acquaintance rapists are looking for. So if you are a young female, and find that you’re attracting attention from somewhat older men who are happy to take control (however they care to phrase it), please give some thought to your own desires and plans (your “agenda”), and how you express them.
Nobody will give you power and control over your own life. You just have to take it.
*This definitely un-scientific survey reflects the views of only a small group of men specifically selected to make a point (and a pseudo-news story), and is not intended to make global assertions about Mankind.