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.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.So, if women from all walks of life are ignoring the stigma and romancing with the more youthful cohort of the male population, it begs the question; what’s the appeal?
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).
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.
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.