Friday, July 16, 2010

What's Good for the Goose Is Good for the...Cougar

Demi Moore & Ashton Kutcher - 15 year age difference

Men dating women that are considerable younger than them is a widely accepted phenomenon in our society.  Although some scoff at these relationships, most are accustomed to seeing these types of May/December romances.  Many relationships like this exist as women are more likely to practice the "marriage gradient", a tendency to date/marry up with regard to income, height, weight, education level and age.  

Now the tables are turning and we are seeing more and more women dating younger men.  In fact, many women are now reporting that they prefer to date younger men.  AARP The Magazine conducted an online survey of people 40-69 and found that for women: 

  • 35% complain about male baggage
  • 23% did not know where to meet men and were meeting too few men
  • 2% said sex on the first date is okay
  • 35% prefer to date younger men 
Nick Cannon & Mariah Carey - 11 year age difference  

Increasing numbers of women dating younger men has not alleviated the stigma associated with this type of relationship.  It appears that women have more of an issue than men when discussing a relationship between an older woman and a younger man.  Attributing to this are stereotypes explaining why younger men would enter into such a relationship.  Younger men must be/have a:

The Mommy Complex:
The younger man is in need of a caretaker and dates older women as they are more domestic, nurturing, and caring.

Gigolo Joe:
A man will woo an older woman in the hopes of getting her retirement, pension, or insurance money.
Secret Lover:
Secretly he is sexually attracted to older women and is addicted to dating them.

Second Time Around:
Most men lose their virginity to an older women.  Therefore, men who date older women are seeking to relive their first experience.

These stereotypes do not define most older woman/younger man relationships.  With increasing longevity, men and women see themselves as sexual beings for a longer period of time.  Divorce, not death of a spouse, is more older adults to enter into the dating scene.  Also, women, reaching their sexual peak later in life, are exploring different options and obviously having fun while doing it!