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"They were pretty much disgusted." Philips argued that individual needy girls and exploitative men are not the only factors driving these relationships.
"From music videos, to porn, to Disney, this is all sits within this bigger cultural context of media images and cultural messages that absolutely eroticize and hyper-sexualize teen girls," she said.
What's different about the Hutchinson-Stodden marriage and the Cox-Catsimatidis wedding is that the grooms were willing to enter so publicly into relationships with teenagers, with the apparent approval of their brides' parents.
Catsimatidis, who is now 21, told that her father "wouldn't have given me up to anyone else," while Stodden's mother Krista was quoted as saying, "We are totally supportive of this marriage.
As the age gap increases, Manlove explained, the likelihood of using contraceptives decreases.
"Even if the girl would prefer to be using some type of contraceptive, she's less likely to do so if the guy has more power in the relationship," said Jennifer Manlove, a senior research scientist with the organization.
Lee Cohen, a child and adolescent psychiatrist who is based in New York.
"It's probably not healthy, or not the most 'normal' relationship.
Anyone who’s been in a serious long-term relationship knows the journey isn’t without certain challenges, and when you’re dating an older man—we’re talking a decade or more—things can get even trickier.
I know this firsthand, as I’m 25 years old, and I’ve been dating an older guy nearly 15 years my senior for almost four years.