Dating older women in
In the native New Yorker’s opinion, older women are routinely subject to much stricter norms when it comes to picking sexual partners. Yet it’s not all cradle snatching and oedipal gloom for older women dating younger men.“For most women, aging means a humiliating process of gradual sexual disqualification,” she scathingly wrote, “society is much more permissive about aging men.” Marine builds on Sontag’s earlier woes: “Many people are still shocked to see an older woman with a younger man,” she says, “they might think ‘what if that was my mother, or my son! In fact, research carried out last summer by Mc Gill University’s Milaine Alarie and Jason Carmichael concludes otherwise.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.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?
“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.
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.
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.