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Age disparity in sexual relationships is the difference in ages of individuals in sexual relationships.
Parental Investment Theory refers to the value that is placed on a potential mate based on reproductive potential and reproductive investment.
The theory predicts that preferred mate choices have evolved to focus on reproductive potential and reproductive investment of members of the opposite sex.
There are also social theories for age differences in relationships as well as suggested reasons for 'alternative' age-hypogamous relationships.
In August 2010, Michael Dunn of the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff completed and released the results of a study on age disparity in dating.
“cougar” is a term for an older woman who prefers to date younger men.
There’s a connotation there of a wily, experienced feline going after a toothsome little rabbit.***Most of its popularity stems from a 2001 book by Valerie Gibson, called Cougar: A Guide for Older Women Dating Younger Men.
The study found that, as supported by other academic studies, most men preferred younger, physically attractive women, while most women, of any age, preferred successful, established men their age or older.
The study found very few instances of older women pursuing much younger men and vice versa.