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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.
The chances are that a younger man hasn’t had the time to accumulate the emotional baggage that comes with growing old either.
In conversation, Ganahl, who’s written extensively on older woman/younger man relationships, proposes an astute plus-side: “Younger men were raised by mothers during or after the women’s movement,” she says, “therefore, many tend to be far less sexist than their fathers, and not as preoccupied with money and status.” A word of warning though: watch out for boastful boys who’re just out to get bragging rights over their mates.
Meting out the negatives, Ganahl also urges caution.
“Different expectations of relationships can lead to heartache,” she says, “especially if the woman is expecting a traditional commitment when the man aspires to be a player.” Those guys who aren’t in it for the kudos will quickly find out that dating an older woman isn’t a one-sided affair in the slightest.
For Marine, one of the biggest draws has a lot to do with compatibility.
“When an older woman looks for a younger partner, she’s probably quite comfortable with her sexuality,” she explains, “it’s likely that she’s already been married or had children.
“For most women, aging means a humiliating process of gradual sexual disqualification,” she scathingly wrote, “society is much more permissive about aging men.” Marine builds on Sontag’s earlier woes: “Many people are still shocked to see an older woman with a younger man,” she says, “they might think ‘what if that was my mother, or my son! In fact, research carried out last summer by Mc Gill University’s Milaine Alarie and Jason Carmichael concludes otherwise.Also, women expressed concern over the prospect of ageing and whether it would affect their partner’s attraction to them.READ MORE: Happily in an older woman/younger man relationship? The trio behind the project were sure to report that “vast age differences, especially in woman-older relationships, clearly violate the norms of this society”. 40 years ago, writer and activist Susan Sontag penned ‘The Double Standard of Ageing’ for the now defunct .The now well-known term wasn’t a reference to the Chinese calendar; rather, it was a bordering-on-crass idiom coined to define 40-plus women with a predilection for younger gentlemen.Although the US-based 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.