I also have some women friends who had similar experiences that were apparently not harmful to them at all. In fact they look back on their hookups quite positively.
Now, I'm not saying that adults having affairs with children is a good thing. And I'm not saying that damage cannot be done, but damage can be done in all relationships with children who are under the age of 24 or so. It all depends on the circumstnaces.
I'm reading an interesting article in New York Magazine called "Dirty Old Women" that talks about this issue and it's quite interesting. One thing I noticed (and this is not the focus of the article, but an interesting tidbit none the less) was this snippit:
Bruce Rind, Philip Tromovitch, and Robert Bauserman (professors at Temple University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Michigan, respectively) published a study that has resounded through the psychological Establishment ever since. The article, published in the American Psychological Association’s Psychological Bulletin, was what’s known as a meta-analysis, an overview of the existing science, in this case on the long-term effects of childhood sexual abuse. The authors concluded that “negative effects were neither pervasive nor typically intense” and that men who’d been abused “reacted much less negatively than women.”
It goes on to say that a number of right wing people (shrinks and pundits) totally disagree, but still at least it makes my point valid for debate. And what is my point exactly, what am I writing about here? I think that essentially, if a person is past puberty and sexually active, I don't get why it is so taboo to have an age difference. Statutory rape is probably not the best idea in my book. If the 16 year old boy and the 24 year old teacher fall in love, why not let them get married? Let's let science figure out what is best instead of lawmakers and priests.. no scratch that.. we all know how well priests do with sex...
Oh.. I should add that there is this story at the end of the article that is priceless.. It talks about this 16 year old boy who had this affair with the mother of his girlfriend. When it finally got exposed and reported to the police.. well, here's a quote :
Jason says he would not have given a statement to the Long Island police incriminating DeMartini-Scully if he hadn’t been under pressure. “They said if I didn’t they were gonna press charges on me because I was with Diane’s daughter,” who is only 14, and now Jason is 17, thus making him guilty of “sexual misconduct” himself. As of his last birthday, Jason’s relationships switched status in the eyes of the law: Sex with the then-44-year-old school psychologist who had been after him since he was 16 became okay; sex with her teenage daughter became a crime.