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After pulling data from the National Survey of Family Growth, the Canadian initiative found that approximately 13 percent of sexually active women between 35 and 44 have slept with a man at least 5 years their junior.
And, not only did they discover that middle aged women who’d been previously married were more likely to seek a younger mate, they also showed that older woman/younger man relationships are rarely brief flings (on average they last for 2 years).
Around about the same time cougardom exploded into the mainstream, social scientists became increasingly immersed in researching age-dissimilar couples where the woman is the older party.
Prompted by this shift in the demographics of modern relationships, a team of sociologists at the University of Maine set about investigating the reality of older women wedded to younger men.
Although the magazine reasoned that the cougar-craze was a fad destined for cultural oblivion, the article offered up an intriguing explanation for the newfound popularity of older woman/younger man relationships.
According to the piece, the main driving force that brought cougars in from the wilderness was Hollywood.
Why is it still such a sensational topic and what are the perks (and pitfalls) of a partnership where age knows no bounds?Whilst still packed with hidden meaning, ‘sugar daddy’ isn’t nearly as derogatory as its big-cat counterpart.Instead it’s a jocular reaffirmation of man’s traditional role as father-figure and provider of material wealth (and woman’s role as recipient).Without getting too entangled in semantics, Elite Singles resident psychologist, Salama Marine, is quick to discuss this point.“Prejudices have a tendency to stick, even if society is changing,” she says, “calling an older woman a cougar isn’t meaningless, it’s a way of defining her as a predator who’s only interested in hunting down younger prey.” For an enlightening comparison it’s worth looking at an equivalent expression for older men who hook up with younger women.We even looked into the legends with an Elite Singles study.However, what’s actually going on underneath the pop-style commentary and tabloid tales of seductive ‘cougars’ and their eager ‘cubs’?What’s more, the way in which news outlets around the world, included, represented the issue is perhaps more telling of the way single women over 40 are perceived by society.First off, the very word ‘cougar’ is most certainly moot.While women in their twenties want to either date someone older or the same age, women in their 50s and 60s are willing to open their hearts to someone younger - a synergy that may go some way towards explaining the older women dating younger men phenomenon.Of course, there are other benefits to such an arrangement, and indeed, you don’t need to be too imaginative to picture what the benefits of an older woman/younger man relationship might be.