You don’t need to be too imaginative to picture what the benefits of an older woman/younger man relationship might be.
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?
Whilst still packed with hidden meaning, ‘sugar daddy’ isn’t nearly as derogatory as its big-cat counterpart.
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).
According to the piece, the main driving force that brought cougars in from the wilderness was Hollywood. READ MORE: The Ultimate Guide to Dating a Single Parent Off screen, the frenzy that surrounded Demi Moore’s marriage to Ashton Kutcher, not forgetting the widely reported liaisons of stars such as Madonna, Mariah Carey and Sandra Bullock, allegedly serve as further evidence.
Nevertheless, it somehow seems precarious to start explaining away the genuine rise in older women dating younger men by skimming off examples from LA’s amorous glitterati.
After pulling data from the National Survey of Family Growth, the Canadian initiative found that approximately 13 percent of sexually active women between 35 and 44 have slept with a man at least 5 years their junior.
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).
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.