Topics In Brief
Teens and Older PartnersThis edition of ReCAPP addresses the issue of teens with older partners. Most of the information on this topic was contributed by Michael Males, Ph.D., a professor of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and author of several books and numerous articles on teen sexuality.
You will find Dr. Males' comprehensive and informative paper "Teens and Older Partners" under Current Research. In this paper, Dr. Males cites numerous studies and statistics to illustrate the fact that older adult partners are a crucial variable in what is called "teen" sexuality and childbearing. He goes on to discuss the issue from historical, socio-economic, and ethnic perspectives. He also examines the reasons why teens date and sometimes marry older partners as well as the consequences of that behavior. Numerous books, fact sheets, and articles are included as references at the end of the paper.
Specifically, the paper includes the following sections:
- An Introduction to the issue of teens and older partners
- "Teenage" Pregnancy and Childbearing: An Accurate Description?
- Historical Context
- Partner Age Gaps
- Who are the Fathers?
- Teen Fathers and Older Partners
- Why Do Teens Date Older Partners?
- Consequences of Teens Dating Older Partners
- Teens Marrying Older Partners
- Programs and Policies
- Conclusion, and
A summary of a journal article entitled "Older Boyfriends and Girlfriends Increase Risk of Sexual Initiation in Young Adolescents" provides further data to support the premise that the age of partners is an important factor in the teen pregnancy prevention equation, one which needs to be addressed in interventions.