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Jump to navigation Jump to search Age disparity in sexual relationships is the difference in ages of «older women for sex dating»;5;26;6;0 in sexual relationships. Data in Australia and United Kingdom show an almost identical pattern. Relationships with age disparity of all kinds have been observed with both men and women as the older or younger partner. In various cultures, older men and younger women often seek one another for sexual or marital relationships.

Spain, the UK reporting the difference to be on average about three years, and the US, two and a half. In August 2010, Michael Dunn of the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff completed and released the results of a study on age disparity in dating. A 2011 study suggested that age disparity in marriage is positively correlated with decreased longevity, particularly for women, though married individuals still have longer lifespans than singles. Explanations for age disparity usually focus on either the rational choice model or the analysis of demographic trends in a society. As people have chosen to marry later, the age differences between couples have increased as well. In a Brown University study, it has been noted that the social structure of a country determines the age difference between spouses more than any other factor. One of the concerns of relationships with age disparities in some cultures is a perceived difference between people of different age ranges.

Although the «cougar» theme, in which older women date much younger men, is often portrayed in the media as a widespread and established facet of modern Western culture, at least one academic study has found the concept to be a «myth». The evolutionary approach, based on the theories of Charles Darwin, attempts to explain age disparity in sexual relationships in terms of natural selection and sexual selection. Parental Investment Theory refers to the value that is placed on a potential mate based on reproductive potential and reproductive investment. The theory predicts that preferred mate choices have evolved to focus on reproductive potential and reproductive investment of members of the opposite sex. A study conducted by David Buss investigated sex differences in mate preferences in 37 cultures with 10,047 participants.

In all 37 cultures it was found that males preferred females younger than themselves and females preferred males older than themselves. These age preferences were confirmed in marriage records with males marrying females younger than them and vice versa. Buss attributed the male preference for younger females to certain youthful cues. Buss and Schmitt stress that although long term mating relationships are common for humans, there are both short term and long term mating relationships. Buss and Schmitt provided a Sexual Strategies Theory that describes the two sexes as having evolved distinct psychological mechanisms that underlie the strategies for short and long term mating. In contrast to above, in short term mating, females will tend to favour males that demonstrate physical attractiveness as this displays cues of ‘good genes’.