Conversely, women are drawn to older men since they typically have greater resources.Indeed, this phenomenon of men preferring younger mates and vice versa is technically known as the , and it has been well-documented.For sample, there were also significantly more couples in which the man was older as opposed to the woman being older, 72 and 27 pairs, respectively.And though not statistically significant, the ratings of dates were this time in the predicted direction.Further supporting this interpretation, the authors argue that their study had good “ecological validity.” This means that the experimental conditions of this study were a strong approximation of those in real-life.Apart from the requirement that the participants had to provide a narrative report and a numerical rating of the date, the dates unfolded as they normally would in regular life.In addition, applicants provide open-ended answers about their dating history, interests, hobbies, activities, and partner preferences.Other items probe when they are the happiest, what makes them a “good catch,” and what is the first thing visitors notice when they enter into the applicants’ residence. In the final tally, sample included 123 blind dates. They compared the ratings of the dates when the man was older than the woman with the ratings when the woman was older than the man.
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In other words, men gave higher ratings to dates where the man was older than the women; women also endorsed a higher rating when the man was older.
But overall in this study, there was no support for the age differential effect — age did not influence the ratings of the dates at a statistically significant level. The authors offer an interpretation worth pondering: It may that while age seems paramount in the abstract (all things being equal, men desire younger women, and women desire older men), in practice, when two people actually go on a date, the age difference might not have as much importance as other considerations, such as physical attraction and a compatible personality.
It is a commonly accepted idea that men prefer the company of younger women, while women prefer men who are older.
This is also in keeping with Parental Investment Theory, which maintains that men are attracted to women who advertise signs of fertility — that is, youth.
In a classic study of human mating from 1989, David Buss surveyed 37 cultures across 6 continents and found that in every culture in question, men preferred to marry younger women (2.66 years younger on average) and women preferred to marry older men (3.42 years older on average).