Women dating younger man
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.
However, what’s actually going on underneath the pop-style commentary and tabloid tales of ‘cougars’ and their ‘cubs’?
In search of clarity, we set out on a mission to look beyond the loaded monikers and dubious hype surrounding older woman/younger man relationships.
What’s more, the way in which news outlets around the world, included, represented the issue is perhaps more telling of the way older women are perceived by society.
First off, the very word ‘cougar’ is most certainly moot.
Crucially, the Quebecois researchers disproved the ‘rich white’ cougar stereotype by demonstrating that many of these older women come from diverse ethnic backgrounds and also fall within lower income brackets.
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).
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.
In their 2006 study, Sandra Caron, Mary Logue and Nichole Proulx interviewed eight married couples where the wife was between 10 to 17 years older than the husband.
Their findings revealed that whilst both partners were content with their relationship, they still worried about how others judged them.