"If you're trying to maximize your remaining fertility, it makes sense to seek out a younger partner because his sperm is healthier," says lead researcher Judith Easton. One theory: The pairing dredges up associations with the incest taboo—a taboo that's ingrained across almost all cultures, says Christopher Ryan, author of S.You might think the cougar backlash stems from the fear of older women poaching guys from young women. Humans developed aversions to sex between family members, so seeing a young man with his arm around a more senior woman might touch on the same incest associations and leave people feeling squeamish.An older man with a trophy wife can spark similar disgust.A more common (and intuitive) theory maintains that these couples aren't at the same desirability level, a mismatch we find aversive.So a young man on the arm of an older woman looks like he's dating below his level. If the woman's smoking hot (think: Demi Moore), she's not judged as harshly because the pair's mate values appear equal, Barber says.Ryan draws parallels between the backlash against a less fertile older woman with a virile young man and the recent uproar about gay marriage.He said, 'She looks like a cougar on the prowl.' I decided to make it a term for women 40-plus who date younger men and don't want to settle down." Other experts have expanded the definition to include older women who have long-term relationships with and marry men 10-plus years their junior.
I quickly found out I had wasted a whole lot of money. Would you like to socialize with someone who is significantly older or younger?
Ryan predicts the phenomenon will follow a path to acceptance similar to homosexuality's.
Today, the majority of college-aged people approve of gay marriage, in stark contrast to attitudes just a generation ago. Cheryl Covey, 67, and Stuart Mark Berlin, 53, have lived together for the past five years.
"You couldn't tell by looking at our subjects that the wives were a decade older than their husbands," admits Sandra L.
Caron, who coauthored the University of Maine study.
As women decline in fertility, their sex drive gets a supercharge in order to maximize their remaining baby-making chances, new research from the University of Texas at Austin reveals.