It is no secret that most men in their senior years prefer to date much younger women than older ones.
What is baffling, however, is that some men feel comfortable to settle with significantly younger women sometimes in their teen years. PRISCA BAIKE examines this phenomenon.
The first thought that comes to many people's minds when they think of older men dating younger women is that men might only be interested in physical attractiveness. For some men, this may be true, yet for others, the attraction might be a little more complicated.
Ruth Senyoni, a counselor at Bank of Uganda, says such odd occurrences are due to power since "it is always the older powerful men taking advantage of younger women because they have something to offer".
She observes that such arrangements are not limited to schools and underage girls.
"They also happen in offices and various workplaces," she says.
According to Senyonyi, it doesn't matter whether they are over 18 years of age or not. They can still be taken advantage of because they are naïve.
Younger women and girls, she says, are afraid of turning down advances from older influential men; so, they go against their will more often than not.
"The man is wealthy, powerful and has promised you whatever you need. He literally has your future in his hands," says Senyonyi. "So, you unwillingly oblige simply because you need those things. And that is manipulation."
This, she adds, gives the men a kind of satisfaction that they are in control and can have whatever they want in return for their favors - something older women can hardly approve of.
According to www.yourtango.com, while men are attracted to youthfulness and beauty, women, on the other hand, are attracted to confidence and power.
In addition, www.thesocietydiaries.com suggests that older men love dating younger women because they may be more sexually attractive, help them feel more youthful and the fact that younger women idolize older men as compared to older women.
These, according to the website, are all the stereotypical reasons that come to mind when some people think of why older men love to date younger women.
MEN NEED ATTENTION
American psychologist Abraham Harold Maslow, famed for Maslow's hierarchy of needs, argued that some basic human needs are experienced to varying degrees. Some people, he revealed, have higher needs than others at different developmental stages of life. These needs, he said, play a significant role in explaining such debatable behavior.
Maslow observed the need for survival, which encompasses the need to stay alive with food, clothing and shelter. It also includes the psychological needs to feel safe and secure. According to Maslow, younger women are often looking for a sense of security, which older men can provide.
Another reason older men love dating younger women, according to Maslow, is because such women give up freedom in exchange for security whenever they are together. This, he observes, often creates a win-win arrangement for both.
But according to counseling psychologist Doreen Kyomugisha, women always take away attention from their husbands, especially when they give birth.
Because of such, she says men tend to look for that attention from elsewhere.
"Remember most of such men are married. At a certain point, women give birth and give much time to the baby. Consequently, men get bored in their own homes and decide to look for such young girls who are not busy at all," she says. "In fact, such men are just looking for a pain killer."
Kyomuhangi adds that younger girls usually fall prey to such older and wealthier men because they (girls) are easily enticed with expensive lifestyles they can hardly toil for.
"These girls who are being used are mostly looking for luxuries such as cars and expensive gadgets which these men can easily offer in return for sexual gains," Kyomuhangi says.
SUCH RELATIONSHIPS NEVER LAST
Although some of the relationships last, majority do not. According to an article on www.thesocietydiaries.com, such fantasy love fades easily.
The website further says that at first, the older man is in love with her looks and youthful spirit. Eventually, he realizes they have nothing in common, and he will be off to look for another relationship with substance he believes he might find in another younger woman. Older men may say they feel younger, but dating younger women won't make them younger.
The article adds that older men and younger women utilize each other like in a business arrangement.
"He has money, assets, power, and security; she has youth and beauty. If the money runs out, or someone richer comes along, she may break the lease," the article reads.
In the unlikely event that she is not using him, perhaps she loves him because he is more patient, laid back, mature, gentle, and understanding than men of her age. Still, she has perhaps considered his financial attribute at some point. Rarely do younger women end up with destitute older men.
Davis Kawanguzi, a businessman and father of four, says that although young girls find older men attractive and vice versa, it is totally wrong and should have no space in society.
"As a man and a parent, I firmly say that it takes a weak man to manipulate a young girl into sex for favors," he says. "If you are in your fifties, you could as well go for someone in their thirties rather than a teenager."
Kawanguzi adds that it is absolutely wrong for a mature man to take advantage of a younger woman simply because he has power and authority.
In resonance with Kawanguzi, Senyonyi maintains that such behavior is unethical and unacceptable.
"Men with power have to treat younger women with respect," says Senyonyi. "As an adult, it is your responsibility to ensure the safety of these young women instead of jeopardizing their lives and future."
She adds that such young women are usually coerced into regrettable acts due to their naivety and immature minds.
For Kyomuhangi, women should always remember to "repackage themselves after birth to avoid losing shape" and, consequently, their husbands to younger girls.
"This can help alongside devine intervention," she adds.