Cougar dating psychology

"The women," he says, "were more interested in men their own age or older." As for the men, he says: "I guess it could be nice not to hang around a ditz with no knowledge of music or something like that." Getting over the "shoulds" "We have strong 'shoulds' on ways of partnering up," Kathryn Elliott, Ph. We should marry people within two years of our age.

D., assistant professor of psychology at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, explains to Web MD. We pathologize anything that isn't within those shoulds." The key to making older women/younger man relationships work, Elliott says, is to match what she calls voltages.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the percentage of women marrying a significantly younger man doubled in the last quarter of the 20th century. The etymology of the word "cougar" as applied to sex‑hungry older women is uncertain – most accounts trace it to a bar in Canada – but it didn't take long for umbrage to be taken.

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"Choose someone who is your voltage type -- has the same level of intensity about life.

If the voltages are different, one becomes the pursuer and one the distancer.

"Why is it," asked an American columnist, "that a woman who dates a younger man is called a cougar, while a man who dates a younger woman is called… " In Cougar Town, in which Cox plays a glamorous, 40‑year-old divorcée, competing against a cluster of equally boobalicious rivals for the attentions of younger men, the word "cougar" is never applied to the programme's women – it's the mascot of the local school's football team. "Its main conceit," complained the Los Angeles Times, "is that having sex with a younger man is fun and exciting for women over 40…

Despite the warm-and-fuzzy-celebrity cred that star Courteney Cox brings to it, some funny lines and good acting all around, Cougar Town is a crude show, built on jokes about oral sex and droopy breasts." Yet its provenance goes straight back to the Sex and the City/Desperate Housewives genre, and reflects a big problem now afflicting both television entertainment and Hollywood.

To best deploy these still-bankable names, the industry is creating new vehicles for them, and the cougar phenomenon is a perfect outlet.

Yet now comes the reckoning, in the form of that report last week from a German research organisation, the Max Planck Institute, which claimed that women who took up with younger men were likely to have a much reduced life expectancy.

"The best choice for a woman is to marry a man of exactly the same age," said the institute's director, Sven Drefahl.

"The bigger the age gap, the greater the woman's chances of dying prematurely." The even worse news was that men involved with younger women tended to live longer. The researchers suggested that women who take younger partners are seen to be "violating social norms", and suffer ostracism from their families and neighbours to a degree that causes stress.

" The cougars, it seemed, were only doing what came naturally.

Research suggests that men reach their sexual peak in their late teens, while women save it until their late forties.

Take Elizabeth I, Catherine the Great and Mae West. Feminists initially embraced the idea of cougarism, seeing it not so much as a craze as an overdue rebuke to the "senior man, junior woman" template, which, it went without saying, was an imposition of the prevailing sexual tyranny.

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