Hey, I’m Jason and I’m proud to be featured as one of the ACAS bloggers. In honour of this month’s theme, “Age, Aging and Desire”, I’m dedicating this entry to how age preference in sexual and romantic relationships affects Asians.
There are studies that suggest both men and women seek health and youth in their mates. It evolved from the theory that in ancient times, women were attracted to men who could rear their children and protect and provide for the family. Youth and health in males is often categorized with broad shoulders, clear skin, social dominance, facial symmetry, purposeful walk and above average height. In females, it is often the “coke bottle effect” ratio – 36 inch bust, 24 inch waist and 36 inch hips – regarded as the “ideal” body type. Health is also evident in clear skin, bright eyes, shiny hair, firm muscle tone and facial symmetry. These “ideal” traits are still consistent with physical traits that are desired in mate selection today.
It’s understandable why many older individuals seek romantic or sexual relationships with those several years younger. This phenomenon often concerns Asian individuals living in non-Asian societies, because Asians are seen as having a more youthful physical appearance than other ethnic groups. In a Western society, there is lust for the perceived youthfulness of Asians, and sometimes that lust is accompanied by the notion that Asians are more “submissive”, “obedient”, “unassertive” and “passive”.
For Asians who, for whatever reason, do embody these characteristics, the stereotype may be convenient for them and their potential mates – offering a glimpse of their modus operandi. Although, Asians who don’t fit the label often struggle with defying such strongly imposed preconceived notions. Furthermore, this generalization tends indicate health, purity and cleanliness. The association stems directly from the idea that children and youth are healthy. Therefore, “the younger you are, the healthier you must be”.
People tend to generalize that Asians are less likely to have HIV/AIDS and overlook safety precautions in order to keep from reckless HIV/AIDS transmission. Stereotypes of Asian youthfulness, submission, obedience and purity may not only be inaccurate and insulting to those who don’t fit, but can also be harmful to our health. We must acknowledge that although certain people may seem more likely to be “clean”, safety precautions still must be taken to minimize risk for all parties.