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What's Your Advice? Adult Male - Teen Female Relationships

Adult Male - Teen Female Relationships

Reprinted from:
Unequal Partners: Teaching About Power and Consent in Adult-Teen and Other Relationships

This month's learning activity is related to teens dating older partners and includes the following sections:

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Objectives

Students will:

  1. examine their attitudes regarding relationships between couples in which there is a significant difference in age.
  2. become familiar with the research indicating that males over 20 may be responsible for many "teen" pregnancies, as well as for the high rate of sexually transmitted infections among teen females.
  3. assess the reasons older males might choose to have sexual relationships with teen females and the reasons teen females might choose to have sexual relationships with older males.
  4. decide what advice they would give to someone involved in an adult-teen relationship.

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Rationale

The difficulty the nation has had in reducing adolescent pregnancy rates may be due, in part, to the fact that intervention efforts have assumed those pregnancies were the result solely of peer-to-peer relationships. In fact, many 'teen' births are fathered by adult men. In addition, teen females have a high rate of sexually transmitted infections as compared with their male peers, suggesting that adult male-teen female relationships may also be implicated in disease transmission.

This lesson examines the issue of relationships in which adult males are having sexual intercourse with teen females. It encourages students to evaluate those relationships and give advice about them.

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Materials

  • Worksheet:
    Adult-Teen Relationships: What are the Facts?

    (Educator must add accurate ages from current state sexual offense laws for items #9 and #10), and
  • Worksheets: What's Your Advice

    … to "Unhappy Girl"?
    … to "My Friend's Friend"?
    … to "Confused Boy"?
  • Four pieces of easel paper, each with one of the statements below written on it:
    • Why teen girls go out with older men
    • Why older men go out with teen girls
    • Why adults worry when teen girls go out with older men
    • How teen boys feel when teen girls go out with older men

Procedure

(Note: Before using the Worksheet: "Adult-Teen Relationships," complete the ages for items #9 and #10 according to your state's sexual offense laws.)

  1. Draw on the board/easel:

    OK ------------------- ?? ------------------- NOT OK
  2. Explain that students will be discussing relationships where one partner is much older than the other. Ask them to draw the diagram. Then, ask them to think about a sexual relationship in which a high school sophomore girl is going out with a 22-year-old man. How do they feel about the fact that he is an adult, seven years older than his teen partner? Put an X on the continuum.
  3. Ask for several volunteers to say where they placed themselves on the continuum and why. Jot down descriptive words in the appropriate places on the continuum.
  4. Distribute the Worksheet: "Adult-Teen Relationships" and ask the students to complete it in pairs. When everyone is finished, give the correct answers, one by one. (See the Answer Key, which reflects current data.) As you discuss #9 and #10, ask students why they think these laws exist. What is necessary for a person to be able to agree to a sexual behavior freely and safely?
  5. Divide the students into four groups and give each group a "statement" easel sheet. Instruct each group to list all the reasons they can think of in response to the statement on their sheet.

    After ten minutes, ask the groups to post their sheets.

    Discussion Questions:
    1. What observations can you make from viewing these lists?
    2. Do you agree with adults who are concerned about these relationships? Explain.
    3. What is your advice to older men? To teen girls? To teen boys?
  6. Depending on your group, ask the students to work again in their small groups, in pairs, or individually. Distribute equally among students the two worksheets: What's Your Advice …to "Unhappy Girl" and to "My Friend's Friend." Ask the students to write an 'Advice Column' responding to the letters on their worksheet.

    (Note: If you wish to expand the lesson to relationships between teen boys and adult women, use the additional worksheet "Confused Boy.")
  7. To conclude, ask one or two groups, pairs, or individuals to read their columns to the entire group.

Reprinted from:
Montfort, S., Brick, P. (2000). Unequal Partners: Teaching about Power and Consent in Adult-Teen and Other Relationships, 2nd ed. Planned Parenthood of Greater Northern New Jersey, Inc., 33-40.

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