A warning to parents: Older men seeking young girls on Web is increasing

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • JayTee Sandy, UT
    Sept. 4, 2013 10:04 a.m.

    Many who comment here seem to totally deny that there can be healthy and beneficial friendships between "minors" and "adults," so we're teaching our children that they should never recognize--let alone befriend--anyone who doesn't fit the prescribed and socially acceptable parameters. There's a word for this: paranoia. Rather than teaching youth to be strong, perceptive, and aware . . . we're teaching them to be paranoid. And heaven help the youth who's gone astray enough to actually want to befriend anyone who's out of his/her age category. Yes, that would call for the intervention of all available civic and ecclesiastical authority to immediately set things right and put a halt to the travesty.

  • MapleDon Springville, UT
    Aug. 30, 2013 9:16 a.m.

    Warning: Very old Clint Eastwood getting divorced from his significantly younger wife.

    I'm profoundly amazed at the logic made in some of the comments above...as if girls are stupid and can't think on their own until their magic 18th birthday. Can it be remotely possible that a 17 year-old girl has true affection for a guy five or ten years older? Again, per some of you, that isn't legitimate until she turns 18. Then the affection is real. What absurdity!

    "She's almost 18 and should know better." So, once you're 18, then you do know better? Do you know how foolish that sounds?

    It's obvious that, according to some of you, our dating rules need to change. If 18 is the magic number, then our girls should not date until they're 18, at which point they will know better and any affections that surface will be legitimate.

  • joseywales Park City, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 11:10 a.m.

    Yup! Just like BSR, I have gotten friend request from younger girls. It's creepy when it's a friends daughter or one from the neighborhood. I received one back in the spring from a neighbor girl who I knew had been having some trouble at home. I talked to her parents about why she would friend me, and they had no clue what I was talking about. I showed them and when they brought it up to her she spilled her guts that she loves the attention older guys give her, that those her age don't. She's almost 18 and should know better, but sadly many young girls (and boys) are looking for an identity and tragically, it sometimes comes from false places. Many parents aren't up to speed on technology and have no idea the dangers that social media can be. I'm not saying it doesn't have some positives when used correctly, but young people sometimes can't see beyond the blurred lines.

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 28, 2013 2:59 p.m.


    I especially like the last sentence in your comment; "What we need is to teach children to maintain and recognize appropriate boundaries and limits." That said, I am not as optimistic about the sentence that precedes it; "Very few, if any, of the adults your child knows are hoping to exploit or abuse him or her."

    Now, I don't want to manifest a crisis and separate kids from social experiences and adult communication, but I have seen too much to feel confident with nary a soul to be to close to my kids. That is where I get my sad reality gut check. However, where to we cut back as parents and where do we roll the dice, especially as our kids get older and require the gain of increasing independence? To me it goes back to your final sentence full circle. Teaching children boundaries without judging other adults (paranoia wise) allows for them to experience the world in a way that hopefully sees them govern themselves responsibly at a younger age. It's a must. For good and bad, our kids are doing and learning just about everything at a younger age nowadays.

  • Eliyahu Pleasant Grove, UT
    Aug. 28, 2013 8:11 a.m.

    My wife and I watched an ad on TV the other night for a "cougers" dating web site which, for those who are unaware, is devoted to older women looking for young men. My wife commented to me that if the roles were reversed and it were a site with older men looking for young girls, there would be an outcry for police investigation and arrests.

    In any case, the problem here is clearly that of young people accepting "friendship" offers from strangers and linking themselves online with as many people as possible in an effort to create the impression of being extremely popular. A teenager doesn't have time to have actually become acquainted with 1500 people, let alone knowing them well enough to be friends.

    And lest our paranoia grow unabated, we need to realize as well that most casual friendships between those over 18 and those under 18 do not involve evil motives or dire plans for misconduct. Very few, if any, of the adults your child knows are hoping to exploit or abuse him or her. What we need is to teach children to maintain and recognize appropriate boundries and limits.

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 28, 2013 6:44 a.m.

    It is sad that adults befriending the youth outside bloodlines (or even therein) raises such a red flag. But it is reality for many of us in the protecting mode. Not that it's bad too see it different, but unfortunately as a parent it's hard to trust anyone to be with your child.

    It's equally as sad when adults who trust themselves and their intentions are VERY hesitant to befriend a child or teen. For example, when I chat or come into contact with various youth (I don't do facebook), I sometimes think there might be value with future social contact if it presents itself. Yet I usually squash that thinking because of how I might think as another adult observing my conversations from afar. Plus the relative youth might be trained to manufacture danger. These concerns make the whole youth social approach seem bizarre.

    Looking back, I can recall several times where I shewed another human being away (a youth) because I created an image problem where there wasn't one from my end.

    Sad? Yeah.

    All that said, it's still obvious the world can be a sick place and children are vulnerable prey.

  • Downtime Saint George, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 3:22 p.m.

    I do not believe this is the last bad choice this girl is going to make.

  • Brother Benjamin Franklin Orem, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 3:23 a.m.

    I am not sure how to approach other than parents have to take responsibility for their individual households and children. Children should not have social media accounts or cell phones, period. Most of us grew up without cell phones, texting, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Ipads/Ipods, and on and on. Teenagers don't need them until they are 16 in my view, but not all parents feel as I do.

    We also have to have the courage to approach parents who are naive to things happening under their noses with their children's online activity. I think most of us are sick and tired of things like "stop being so nosy" or "you're overreacting" or "worry about your own kids" and the "not my child" attitude we get from enough people out there already.

    It is much better as a parent to investigate something and find nothing was wrong than to discover something much worse when it is too late and the damage has been done. I have never seen a parent that complained about getting help to clean up damage their child experienced from inadequate supervision. They are always asking themselves, "How did I not know?"

  • JanSan Pocatello, ID
    Aug. 26, 2013 10:39 p.m.

    I teach young girls primary from 8 to 11. Some of the girls are on my Facebook. I don't think that it is wrong to use Facebook to "Befriend the youth" as long as you know them from somewhere else. And I don't think that anyone should Friend another person that they do not know. I don't think that it is wise for men to have girls as friends and the other way around. We need to watch our kids and let them know ahead of time that if they want to be on networks such as Facebook etc. that you as a parent will have the right to check out their accounts now and then.And I think that the number of Friends should have a limit on it.

  • JayTee Sandy, UT
    Aug. 26, 2013 9:34 p.m.

    Another message here seems to be that anyone over 17 who in any way befriends anyone under 18, then they're just looking to sexually exploit and corrupt the minor. In our warped, paranoid society, is it possible for an older person to actually be friends with a younger person, or is every such relationship/friendship just a twisted, dangerous tragedy in the making? We really are a super sick society now, aren't we? Sad. No wonder our kids grow up not liking or trusting (let alone respecting) hardly anyone. I'd like to think that some of us (regardless of our ages) are not yet that corrupt and blighted. Maybe some of us actually value and care about youth who are not always blood relatives, and maybe we can see ways we could help them along life's journey. Maybe we're strong enough that we can actually relate to people of different generations without seeing them as simply easy prey.

  • JayTee Sandy, UT
    Aug. 26, 2013 9:13 p.m.

    So part of the underlying message here seems to be that if the guys in question are under 18, then they're automatically safe and wonderful . . . which is anything but the truth. Many of the younger guys are absolutely as equally predatory, but they have also learned they can get away with a lot because they're still minors. In our society, we rarely hold minors very accountable for anything, and so they can wreak all kinds of havoc and walk away "Scott-free" We have 15-year-old kids impregnating 13-year-old kids, and then they often "keep the baby" (which means the taxpayers and often also the grandparents are carrying the load), and we go on as if nothing has really happened.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    Aug. 26, 2013 4:40 p.m.

    The only reason I use facebook is because it seems the best, if not only way, to keep in touch with my extensive family and a select group of friends. I sometimes get friend requests from people I don't know, some turn out to be relatives on my wife's side and so I accept them simply for the sake of not denying family.

    Facebook, Twitter, E-mail and so on and so forth, are tools. I have a shop full of power tools which I must keep away from my young children. I need the tools, but there are precautions I can take to keeping my family safe. We need to be on our guard and utilize tools for their intended use and never become complacent with it.

  • A Guy With A Brain Enid, OK
    Aug. 26, 2013 12:35 p.m.

    1st, I'm glad this girl is safe.

    2nd, article quote: "Indica had 1,550 Facebook friends,....."

    Houston, we have a problem here....

    I mean, seriously....1,550 friends? That is BEYOND ridiculous. This screams either she isn't thinking or perhaps she is a young adult who is too eager to please, ie, she doesn't want to offend anyone by denying their friend request.

    If you don't know them, don't 'friend' them!

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Aug. 26, 2013 9:04 a.m.

    Western Rover nailed it - a lot of the "older men seeking young girls on Facebook" is actually the opposite. I get a lot of friend requests from young females, and it's not just the pseudo-accounts that are just trying to lure you to a porn site. I get tons of friend requests from teenage girls who live down the street (that I barely know), teenage girls who know my wife, etc.

    The only explanation I have for this is teens connect their self-worth to their perception of their own popularity, and in their minds popularity is inexorably linked to how many Facebook friends they have (whether or not those "friends" could truly be considered friends).

    Parents, please teach your children that their quantity of friendships (real or virtual) does not affect their self-worth.

  • Hurteau Auburn, MA
    Aug. 25, 2013 4:03 p.m.

    The fact that older women too prey on younger boy's is not mentioned in this article,,, I have to wonder,, Why not??

    Google "Women Arrested for Indecent Behavior With Kids"

    It is NOT uncomon

  • Pete1215 Lafayette, IN
    Aug. 25, 2013 2:51 p.m.

    Older men acting in a predatory manner towards girls is wrong. But so are girls having babies; with apparently no concept that making babies (with 80 years of life ahead), while being incapable of giving them a decent chance in life, is a form of abuse.

  • nomo Draper, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 1:25 p.m.

    Lets see older men younger women try since the beginning of time!

  • gr8 2 h8 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 8:45 a.m.

    Ummm "Growing Trand" NO. More like the police are realizing the obvious, in other words the police realization has grown. Sheesh!

  • ThornBirds St.George, Utah
    Aug. 25, 2013 8:44 a.m.

    Creepy people will try to get into your email(they are trying to get to your finances and passwords).
    They want to break into your social media, get you to respond to private info when they you on the phone. They will send you strange mail.
    It does not necessarily matter what your age you may be. Don't let any stranger flatter you, and believe that it is real and sincere.
    The times of trusting others are fading fast.

  • Western Rover Herriman, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 7:58 a.m.

    From the other side: I'm an older man (ancient if "older" is mid-20s), and usually I get friend requests from people I know in real life, including people that I knew in the past that I've fallen out of contact with (the reason I'm on Facebook at all). Every few months, though, I get a friend request from a total stranger. Guess what? They're always from teenage girls. (Naturally I do not accept these requests.)

  • Aggielove Cache county, USA
    Aug. 25, 2013 7:33 a.m.

    Question. What did you think would happen with sites like Facebook?
    It's not the whole reason, but its a piece of garbage.

  • CP Tooele, UT
    Aug. 25, 2013 3:23 a.m.

    I am glad that this incident ended with the girl being returned to her family. I was also happy to read that this girl's mother realized that her daughter's facebooking needs to be monitored better and that her list of "friends" needs to be cleaned out.