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But could this finding also reflect shifting sands in the social landscape?
Perhaps as women earn more money (i.e., they have their own resources), age matters less.
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.
Ideal mates can be quite different to actual choices that people make.
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.
A guy could want to date Angelina Jolie and a woman might want Brad Pitt, but they have to settle for someone else. If you are a desirable mate, than you have more choice, if you are not so desirable, you might need to compromise. Man state that they would like to date someone young, but in reality the young might not want them.
As men get older, they seek younger and younger women (i.e.