We all know about the myth of the 'cougar: they're hot older women who have a thing for young men … and a recent study shows that this isn't as unusual as you first might think. Are You Interested, an online dating site, recently evaluated its users and site response trends. It analysed data from member interaction, evaluated requests and responses, and put together a very impressive survey that revealed one important fact: women want younger men.
According to data from the study, women are far more likely to respond to a man the younger he is. Three particular age groups showed signs of women preferring younger men: 20 – 29, 30 – 49 and 50+. Older female users were even more likely to respond to younger men than their younger counterparts.
The concept of 'cougar' is fraught with problematic assumptions about the woman involved, so this study goes a long way to normalise the idea of older women and younger men pairing up. Perhaps now they'll be referred to simply as 'women' rather than a prowling, predatory cat.
On the flipside, the study also revealed than 42% of new male users on AYI.com are only interested in meeting younger women are excluded from the initial communication consideration pool, but that those who don't have a particular preference about age are also not terribly concerned with who they talk to, and are as likely to respond to an older woman as they are to a younger woman.
This study is making waves in the dating industry, and has been evaluated by TIME, CNN and the Huffington Post, amongst others. TIME even quoted a Harvard psychologist on why dating an older woman means better relationships: 'when the woman is older,' says Justin Lehmiller, 'it shifts the traditional heterosexual power dynamic toward greater equality,' and equality makes for happier couples.'
So what does AYI.com make of all of this? Stop restricting your profile, it advices, and you are likely to meet a woman who will make you exceptionally happy. Don't limit your age pool if you are truly looking to meet the perfect partner on an online dating site.
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