Age gape is sometimes very Sexy
The study showed that men's sexual fantasies about who they would sleep with increased with age. Do you want to carry things on with your sexual fantasy rather than a casual affair?
The New Republic reported on a study by Dutch social psychologists in 2001, which takes up this study when one looks at the acceptable age groups. The study showed that women prefer men their own age, but not their partner's age. But for men, as they age, what they consider an "acceptable age difference" with their partner increases.
The reluctance to be with someone his age is rising rapidly in men, but much less so in women. But at some point, you start to be with a man, and this increase in sexual fantasies increases with age. For example, 41% of those over 70 would sleep with at least one woman of the same age as themselves, while 28% (53%) would not.
In Western countries, married heterosexual couples can be classified as couples with worse or better relationships than couples of a similar age. These include older women who join forces with younger men, older men with older partners and older couples.
One question Harris's students almost always ask is when an age difference in a relationship is acceptable. In truth, birth dates are just one example of how power differences are perceived in relationships with age differences. This makes sense in view of the often conflicting messages in the media and society about sex fantasies in old age.
Stereotypes about gender, desire and power also influence our thinking about how we interact in love and in bed. On sites like FamilyDick and MormonBoyz, older men are often portrayed as mythological father figures. Dan Savage, the legendary gay sex columnist, has written about his own sex fantasies and takes a practical view: if an older partner leaves a younger partner in better shape than he is, it's good to meet younger men, he writes, but if he has a young partner, he has problems.
Still, many gay men view intergenerational romance with judgment and suspicion. Canadian researchers found in Age Preferences of Gay and Bisexual Men that men who prefer men older than them are more likely to endure ridicule from other gay men because they are more uncomfortable with it. So a woman's adaptation to status and resources might explain why she is attracted to older men.
There is evidence that youth is considered an indicator of fertility from an evolutionary point of view. Since men cannot have children, evolution suggests that young women are adjusting to the need to improve their chances of partnering with someone who can give birth.
Women who get used to status and resources might explain why they are attracted to older men. But this evolutionary explanation is limited, because it does not explain the opposite - why older women and younger men live in pairs, and why the age gap exists among same-sex couples.
There is evidence that youth is considered an indicator of fertility from an evolutionary point of view. Since men cannot have children, evolution suggests that young women are prepared to meet the need to increase their fertility by partnering with someone who can give birth.
This evolutionary explanation is limited, however, because it does not explain why the opposite is true for older women and younger men, or why age differences exist for same-sex couples. Women in the study also described how dating someone younger than themselves could break down certain restrictive roles.
However, women in the study felt that the fact that their male partner was older than them allowed them to develop their sexual self-confidence. Many women said that younger men and younger male partners were often more receptive to the sexual advances of younger women and more willing to allow young men to take a more active role. Men are expected to be more sexually experienced, whereas women are usually more passive and receptive to men who are evolving, and many women feel that older, sexually assertive and experienced women can lead younger men to fantasize about older, sexually assertive and experienced women.
No matter what sexual orientation or gender you have, you often experience something that someone discovers when they grow up. Like their peers, young men are attracted to their own children or those believed to have developed a sexual interest in them. Male paedophilia, for example, continues to sexually attract young children even as the interests of old age change.
Women, on the other hand, mature faster than men, as they enter menopause earlier, with an increase in sexual interest in older men and a decrease in the number of young women.
Sastra treatises have traditionally said that men should marry young women who are physically and mentally healthy. The initial spark of love may fade, but the age difference does not matter when spiritual maturity, love, understanding, and tolerance have reached their peak. But reality hits you in your mid-20s, 30s and even 40s. As they age, the initial romance fades.
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