09/07/2013 01:56 pm ET Updated Nov 07, 2013

Woman/Boy Relationships in Pop Culture: No Big Deal


Portrayals of relationships between older women and younger men have showed up in pop culture time and again, from The Graduate to American Pie. But it seems like more have been cropping up lately. Alissa Nutting's novel Tampa, published in July, is about a 26-year-old woman who builds her entire life as a teacher around her attraction to 14-year-old boys. The Lifeguard, which opened in theaters last weekend, stars Kristen Bell as a 29-year-old who returns to her hometown and has an affair with a teenager. And this week sees the theatrical release of Adore, starring Robin Wright and Naomi Watts as two best friends who fall for each other's 18-year-old sons, and A Teacher, the story of a young woman's undoing as her relationship with one of her high-school students comes to an end.

While these works vary from one another greatly, taken together they show how society tends to treat these kinds of relationships: as not all that big a deal.

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