Google, Cougars and “Family Values”

According to the NY Times, sexual double standards are alive and well at Google. The search engine behemoth has announced that ads for CougarLife.com, a website devoted to helping older women and younger men connect, will no longer be allowed on content pages because the site is “nonfamily safe.”

Google run ads in two different portions of its site.  Some ads appear next to search results and some ads appear on content pages, including Ask.com, YouTube and MySpace. Obviously, being booted from the content pages has a big effect on a company that reportedly got more than 60% of its traffic from them.

So this might make you wonder why CougarLife.com isn’t ok, when sites for rich older men and younger women get the green light. After all, if what makes things unsafe for “families” is an age difference, the gender dynamic shouldn’t matter. And if what makes things non-family safe is a financial arrangement as part of a dating relationship, then that also should be the same no matter what the genders of the participants.

Google new policy specific to “cougars” has age and gender discrimination written all over it, wrapped in a thin veneer of “family values.” Given how many times we’ve seen “family values’ politicians having affairs with a staffer, soliciting sex in men’s bathrooms, groping & tickling a staffer and such, I can only wonder what shenanigans they’re getting up to at Google.

Dr. Charlie Glickman

Charlie Glickman is the Education Program Manager at Good Vibrations. He also writes, blogs, teaches workshops and university courses, presents at conferences, and trains sexuality educators. He’s certified by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, and loves geeking out about sex, relationships, sex-positivity, love and shame, communities of erotic affiliation, and sexual practices and techniques of all varieties. Follow him online, on Twitter at @charlieglickman, or on Facebook.

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