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Feel free to join my Facebook group, "Fulfillment at Any Age," to discuss today's blog, or to ask further questions about this posting. I'm sure they don't represent all women, but I know several single women in their 30's who are dating older men.The simple reason they give is that most men their own age are "ridiculously immature".Because these relationships are more prevalent when they involve older men and younger women, the authors didn’t perform an analogous study of “mommy figures." If it’s true that younger women in AGRs are seeking father figures, then it would be expected that they would have maladaptive relationships with their fathers which play out in adulthood by their choice of a mate. Mary's researchers used to test this proposition is attachment theory.According to the attachment theory perspective, people’s adult relationships reflect the way they were treated by their caregivers.It’s risky to account for a lack of differences: Are these non-effects due to faulty methodology or a flawed theory?It’s possible that there were weaknesses in the sample recruitment, as an AGR online forum provided the data for that group; these individuals may not be typical representatives of AGRs.Testing their predictions on a sample of 173 women, all involved in a romantic relationship, the study's authors compared those in AGRs (with a nine-year or larger age difference) vs. The AGR women ranged from 18 to 53 years old, with partners, on average, 17.3 years older than themselves.Using standard questionnaire measures, the research team asked all participants to rate their attachment styles as well as their relationship satisfaction.
Relationship fulfillment depends on a host of factors, but according to this study, the age gap alone is not sufficient to predict who will be happiest with whom.This argument contrasts with the sociocultural perspective, which proposes that negative attitudes involved in ageism and sexism cause older women to be seen as less physically attractive to potential mates.The sociocultural perspective for understanding the pairing of older men and younger women explains not just that younger women seem physically more attractive to aging males, but that the older man represents socially valued attributes that lead his younger partner to to bond with him.The two age-based relationship samples were similar in both attachment style and relationship satisfaction.Further, the size of the age gap did not relate significantly to satisfaction with the partner.
A middle-age or older man pairing with a younger woman, from this viewpoint, ensures that he will have continue to have offspring at older ages than would be possible with a peer who is past childbearing age.