In other words, men gave higher ratings to dates where the man was older than the women; women also endorsed a higher rating when the man was older.
But overall in this study, there was no support for the age differential effect — age did not influence the ratings of the dates at a statistically significant level. The authors offer an interpretation worth pondering: It may that while age seems paramount in the abstract (all things being equal, men desire younger women, and women desire older men), in practice, when two people actually go on a date, the age difference might not have as much importance as other considerations, such as physical attraction and a compatible personality.
Conversely, women are drawn to older men since they typically have greater resources.
Indeed, this phenomenon of men preferring younger mates and vice versa is technically known as the , and it has been well-documented.
Those responsible at these respective newspapers make their best effort to make a match, which is based on participants' answers to an online questionnaire.
We probably didn't think that we could take those feeling anywhere though for fear of being out of step with societal norms and the prospect of having any chance of hooking up dashed because we were considered too junior and "not cool".In another study from 2001, researchers asked Dutch men and women between the ages of 20 and 60 about their age preferences for various types of intimate situations, ranging from sexual fantasies to marriage. Malouf of Endicott College wondered if testing the age differential hypothesis using a new source of data might yield more insight into the matter.They, too, found that men predictably preferred younger partners than did women. To this end, they collected all available ratings of blind dates that were published in two well-known American newspaper columns: “Dinner with Cupid” from Both newspaper columns advertise for singles who are willing to give a blow-by-blow report of a blind date as well as a numerical rating in exchange for a free dinner at a restaurant.Further supporting this interpretation, the authors argue that their study had good “ecological validity.” This means that the experimental conditions of this study were a strong approximation of those in real-life.Apart from the requirement that the participants had to provide a narrative report and a numerical rating of the date, the dates unfolded as they normally would in regular life.(Couples who were the same age were not included in this analysis). For sample, there were significantly more couples in which the man was older as opposed to the woman being older, 133 and 56 pairs, respectively.And although this finding was not statistically significant, the ratings of the dates were opposite to the predicted direction.By contrast, laboratory-based research tends to rely on confederates (undercover researchers), or asking participants to rate how likely they would be to pursue a date based on a photograph or a hypothetical scenario.According to the investigators, this study has similar ecological validity to speed-dating studies that also involve face-to-face interaction.That is, men gave lower ratings to dates where the man was older.Likewise, women also rated the dates lower when the man was older than the woman.