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A middle-age or older man pairing with a younger woman, from this viewpoint, ensures that he will have continue to have offspring at older ages than would be possible with a peer who is past childbearing age.
However, if we accept the findings, the Skentelbery and Fowler study suggests that the younger woman-older man relationship has unique psychological qualities, at least on the measures used.
Relationship fulfillment depends on a host of factors, but according to this study, the age gap alone is not sufficient to predict who will be happiest with whom.
An age difference of up to 10 years is generally not looked at askance by anyone who knows how old each partner is, but as that gap gets closer to 20, things start to look a bit more off balance.
Once a man is literally old enough to be a woman’s father (or vice versa, for older women), public opinion starts to shift from acceptance to skepticism. Mary’s University’s (Halifax) Sara Skentelbery and Darren Fowler examined the phenomenon of “age gap relationships” (AGRs) from an evolutionary perspective, noting that such pairings have benefits in terms of species survival.
Testing their predictions on a sample of 173 women, all involved in a romantic relationship, the study's authors compared those in AGRs (with a nine-year or larger age difference) vs. The AGR women ranged from 18 to 53 years old, with partners, on average, 17.3 years older than themselves.
Using standard questionnaire measures, the research team asked all participants to rate their attachment styles as well as their relationship satisfaction.
It’s well known that men tend to marry women younger than themselves, a pattern that leads to increasingly unbalanced male-to-female gender ratios as you move up to older and older age groups.
Men also have a lower life expectancy than women, leaving women in the 75-and-up age bracket with fewer and fewer choices of heterosexual partners.
Meanwhile, these older men believe they’ll accrue even more power and status by sporting their younger, glamorous, and well-outfitted new spouse.
Skentelbery and Fowler wanted to investigate whether it’s true that the women in such pairings were seeking father figures for psychological reasons.
This argument contrasts with the sociocultural perspective, which proposes that negative attitudes involved in ageism and sexism cause older women to be seen as less physically attractive to potential mates.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating