Social Question

Dutchess_III's avatar

If a couple is 5 years or more apart in age, and they both experienced the same social changing events, but at different ages, can you spot the nuances that display this?

Asked by Dutchess_III (43576points) November 12th, 2015

Dang I had a hard time forming this question. I picked the age difference of 5 years, because just as one is graduating from high school, the other is just entering high school.

For example, my husband is 8 years older than I am.
Let’s say the women’s lib movement started in 1968 Don’t get picky! I was 10, and he was 18. Obviously the way I processed the changes as a kid was different than the way he, as an “adult,” processed them.

We both experienced the “Boys are smarter than girls” BS on the playground, but by the time he graduated that stereotype was still lingering.

By the time I graduated, on the other hand, that stereotype was long gone, stomped into the ground. I had no doubt, not even a modicum, that on average, men and women are equally intelligent, depending on each individual. Most of the guys my age accept that too, without question.

However, I still see nuances in my husband that suggests he never quite assimilated that change. His attitudes are just a little different from men my exact same age. That old school, “She doesn’t really understand,” still lingers, just a little.

Intellectually he knows that that is BS Especially since he met ME!, but it is just part of the fabric of his upbringing, which are the hardest things to change no matter how much you may want to.

On the other hand, if society stays stagnate for a few decades, people 20 years apart may have the same values.

There has to be a better way of asking this question…But I’m just a girl so…. :}~

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11 Answers

SQUEEKY2's avatar

My step mom is 15years younger than my dad.
They both experienced things at different ages that is true but they both see things pretty much eye to eye.
Also know another couple where she is 16years older than he is.
I kinda get where you are trying to go with this something the older one experienced and wove into their upbringing might have totally debunked by the time they come around for the younger one type thing??

Seek's avatar

I’m trying my damnedest to come up with something but to be honest everything I can think of is affected much more by other things than simple age.

Like, for instance, my response to 9/11 and Mitch’s response were different because I used to live there and had family members that worked in that building. My father was a first-responder at the time. Mitch was just another helpless citizen watching the world change on TV.

Our responses to Y2K were pretty much the same: Laugh at the idiots that fell for the hype.

I think the biggest thing is probably our views on homosexuality. To me it’s nothing particularly special, any more than any other aspect of a person is special. He still has some lingering effects of the 1980s AIDS scare, I think. Not that he’d admit it. And none of you say I said that.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yes, @SQUEEKY2. That’s exactly whta I’m trying to say. It’s not even really obvious, ever. I just know my husband so well that I know when he’s pulling the “The little lady probably needs help,” even though I didn’t ask for it. BUT…that could also just be a part of his personality, which borders on sticking his nose in to everybody’s business.
However, the difference in our father’s generation, and their attitude toward women, is pretty profound.

Ha ha! The other day he said he was going to show me how to cut a 45 for baseboard. I figured he’d never get around to it, so taught myself in about 10 seconds today. Can’t wait to see his face when it’s up. ;)

Dutchess_III's avatar

9 11 was a horrible event…but it didn’t really radically change society as much as the women’s movement and the civil rights movement.

Re homosexuality: Have you seen this, Driving With A Gay Cholo? My daughter shared it with me. I found it HILARIOUS! I showed my 19 year old grandson. He thought it was hilarious. I showed Rick and he watched with a mixture of utter revulsion and horror on his face! I laughed at him almost more than the skit.

Most people my age have really come to accept it. Not my husband, although we never discuss it. But, again, it could just be his personality. There are plenty of homophobes out there of all ages.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Thanks for trying to understand what I was trying to get at, y’all.

Seek's avatar

I wasn’t alive for either the Civil Rights movement or the Women’s Liberation movement, and I was a toddler during the AIDS crisis. 9/11 is the biggest thing to happen during my lifetime, with the possible exception of the availability of the internet.


Because I’m perfectly comfortable with computers – I’m not a wizard, but I do OK. Hubby cannot. frakking. stand. his smartphone. He must threaten to smash it with a rock and buy a landline three times a day.

Buttonstc's avatar


You’re attributing your hubby’s deep seated attitudes toward gay people to age difference alone.

Have you considered that your different genders may play a large part. It’s no big secret that, in general, women have a much easier time being fully accepting of gay people than men.

Many women have deep non-sexual friendships with gay guys (Will and Grace aren’t the only ones) and refer to them as their “gusbands” (gay husbands) jokingly. That’s not so much the case with guys.

Obviously there are exceptions but many men have some internalized homophobia within themselves which is more linked to their insecurities than anything else.

It’s just another possible way to look at the issue.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

My first girlfriend was graduating with a master’s when I was getting out of high school. It was somewhat noticeable but overall I did not feel an age difference except that she was about a 1000 times more interesting to be around than most of the women that were my age at the time. I was actually able to have intelligent conversations with her. her experience between the sheets was nice too In our case there were no earth shattering events that occurred between our 7 year age difference

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

That is something that is not restricted to age differences; try income levels or nations or social status. Looking back at Rodney King, most of the upper echelon suburbanites who got polled, one news program I seen had most of them believing the cops were justified because they believed Rodney King was resisting arrest and caused the beating to happen to him, toss in his criminal record and it was ”Oh, of course, he was a criminal anyhow”. To most people of color who have fallen victim to uneven policing they seen it as street justice cop style. Because the suburbanites never witness or experienced it 1st hand, they cannot fathom it any other way.

Take the questions one Jelly fielded about Vietnam, if you fought in the war you have a different filter than if you were here and just witnessed the protest. If you were born after all that and your information came from movies, TV, or history books and you were not alive to hear about the Tet Offensive or seen the fall of Saigon on the evening news, you’d have a different filter in processing them.

augustlan's avatar

Mark is 9 years older than me, but he’s even more old school than his age alone would indicate. He’s one of those guys who was born in the slightly wrong time, and really belongs to an earlier age. His personal idol is John Wayne and his knee-jerk reactions in some situations can be wildly out of step with how I see things. But after discussion and thought, he nearly always comes around to my more modern point of view. He’s also no good with tech, like @Seek‘s husband, haha.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Buttonstc Oh, I know that. In fact, I was going to ask a question, “On average, do men have a more difficult time accepting homosexuality than women?” I think they do. I think it’s because for many men, their total sense of self and masculinity is tied up with their sexuality.

I realize my experience isn’t exactly a controlled study, but my husband was horrified, my 27 year old son was simply not amused, but my 19 year old grandson thought it was hilarious.
My grandson has had one particular friend for many years, starting in middle school. Last summer we were talking and I asked my grandson if this particular friend of his was gay.
He said, “Duh! You just figuring that out?! We have an understanding: I am not gay, so as long as he doesn’t hit on me we’re fine.”

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