Dating a man 16 years younger
These differences may be sexual, financial or social in nature. Socially, a society with a difference in wealth distribution between older and younger people may affect the dynamics of the relationship.Although the "cougar" theme, in which older women date much younger men, is often portrayed in the media as a widespread and established facet of modern Western culture, at least one academic study has found the concept to be a "myth".The rational choice model suggests that people look for partners who can provide for them in their life (bread-winners); as men traditionally earn more as they get older, women will therefore prefer older men.
The study found that, as supported by other academic studies, most men preferred younger, physically attractive women, while most women, of any age, preferred successful, established men their age or older.
These two theories explain why natural and sexual selection acts slightly differently on the two sexes so that they display different preferences.
For example, different age preferences may be a result of sex differences in mate values assigned to the opposite sex at those ages.
did females show a preference for males significantly younger than male preferences for females" and that there was a "consistent cross-cultural preference by women for at least same-age or significantly older men".
A 2003 AARP study reported that 34% of women over 39 years old were dating younger men.
As well as asking participants a number of questions on mate selection criteria, they also had to provide the oldest and youngest partner they would accept.