"Also, as a former teenage girl, it seems to me that there is a lot of wishful thinking going on here. Teen girls generally aren’t attracted to balding 40 yo guys. I recall thinking 30, much less 40, was old when I was a teenager."First, middle-aged men are perfectly capable of discerning when a teenage girl is attempting to attract his attention. Most men don't make asses of themselves in this way without at least a little encouragement. Second, consider one of the funnier moments of Two-and-a-Half Men. Charlie, clearly in his forties, approaches a young woman in her early twenties. He tries to chat her up, when she smiles and says: “I’m sorry, sir, I don’t have Daddy issues.”
They sure aren’t. The claim that adolescent girls like to “try out” their sexuality with older men is both repulsive and completely false. It goes against nature in every way.
She didn't, but the obvious implication is that many women do. Which is, in fact, true. But the fact that teen girls are quite reasonably disgusted by unwanted advances from older men in no way negates the experience of men seeing girls practically assuming the position like a baboon in heat in order to try to attract their attention. It’s not “wishful thinking” to notice when a 17 year-old walks in the gym and makes a beeline for a particular older man, especially not when that is immediately followed by unmerciful ragging from everyone else who saw it once she is no longer around.
It is not even necessarily a matter of attraction per se. In my experience, it is primarily about attention and bragging rights. A teen girl may be grossed out by the thought of actual sex with the middle-aged married man or the rich silver fox, but she is absolutely going to want to be the one who is capable of drawing his high status attention to herself, thereby granting her status among her peers.
As for Susan's focus group shouting OMG! and EWW! at the idea of Colin Firth or Hugh Grant, I tend to suspect that if those post-college women were to encounter the two older men at a bar, they’d be fawning all over them and trying to get their pictures taken with them to post on Facebook. After all, Hugh Grant has appeared in the British newspapers with much younger women hanging all over him on a regular basis. As has Bono and any number of well-known, middle-aged men.
None of this means that older men don’t behave inappropriately. They do. But teenage girls are not exactly famous for always behaving in an appropriate manner themselves. As for the correct way to respond to a teenage girl acting inappropriately, the wisest thing to do is to simply deny them the reaction and the attention they are seeking.