23 and 18 dating
I still didn’t know whether the creepiness rules actually represented what society finds acceptable. I tackled this paradigm-shifting research the only way I knew how: I created a survey.
I presented people with hypothetical situations in which their friend, “John” or “Lauren” had started a new romantic relationship that was too early too define.
As I reviewed the data, I realized that one rule was not enough.
Society has different expectations for men and women — men can date younger than women and women can date older than men.
When John/Lauren are 30, the creepiness rule actually lines up with how people responded.
However, society places more restrictive age limits of 71 and 75 respectively.
In other words, does the creepiness rule actually reflect what society finds…creepy? Articles and blog posts alternate between claiming age absolutely matters in a relationship and age absolutely doesn’t matter in a relationship.
One thing is clear — nothing brings out more opinions than other people’s love lives.
I then gave different ages for their friend — 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 — and asked participants what the socially acceptable minimum and maximum ages of their friend’s new lovers were.
Although I could have hit the streets of New York and surveyed people in-person Buunk style, I decided to m Turk my survey.