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Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz were only seven years different in their ages but apparently believed that it was less socially acceptable for an older woman to marry a younger man, and hence split the difference in their ages and both claimed to have been born in 1914.
There are many factors which draw both young and old into such age-disparate relationships.
Individuals who exclusively pursue age-disparate relationships are generally classified by psychologists as parasexual, that is, their behavior is qualitatively different from the norm.
Sultans from the Middle-East maintained entire harems of much younger women.
Other historical examples include John Rolfe and Pocahontas, and Laura Ingalls Wilder and Almanzo Wilder (both ten-year differences) in America; William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway (eight-year difference) in England; and Mohammed, the prophet of Islam, was 15 years younger than his first wife Khadija.
Age disparity in same-sex male relationships was even more historically common than age similarity in such relationships.
(Such relationships were practised in Ancient Greece, pre-Modern Japan, Melanesia, Islamic lands and Renaissance Italy.) Monarchs have traditionally exercised the freedom to choose younger spouses; Henry VIII, for instance, chose women far younger than himself as some of his wives, and a number of female monarchs have chosen younger consorts.
Widely-varying age of consent laws have been passed to deter adults from entering sexual relationships with underage minors.
There is also the issue of whether all age-disparate relationships fall under the definition of paraphilia.
Many psychologists study the phenomenon of age disparity, and have observed certain extremes of the above referenced behavior.
They have coined a number of terms to describe various types of psychological preferences : Of these, pedophilia has attracted a great deal of attention in the western media, especially since popular use has merged the concept of ephebophilia with that of pedophilia, which has become known as attraction to any individual considered too young to consent to sexual relations.
Some older partners may seek the connection with the culture of youth, maintaining a connection with the fashion, the music, the media which their age group has ostensibly outgrown.
They view the generation gap as an obstacle to overcome, especially if they feel they have "missed out".
Men in positions of prestige or power have often taken young women as lovers or wives.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating