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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.
Within sexual selection Darwin identified a further two mechanisms which are important factors in the evolution of sex differences (sexual dimorphism): intrasexual selection (involve competition with those of the same sex over access to mates) and intersexual choice (discriminative choice of mating partners).
An overarching evolutionary theory which can provide an explanation for the above mechanisms and strategies adopted by individuals which leads to age disparity in relationships is called Life History theory, Life History theory posits that individuals have to divide energy and resources between activities (as energy and resources devoted to one task cannot be used for another task) and this is shaped by natural selection.
Another study also showed a higher divorce rate as the age difference rose for when either the woman was older or the man was older.
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.
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According to the rule, the age of the younger partner (regardless of gender) should be no less than seven more than half the older partner’s age.
Martin, then, shouldn’t date anyone younger than 26 and a half; Lawrence shouldn’t go above 34.
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Age disparity in sexual relationships is the difference in ages of individuals in sexual relationships.
In various cultures, older men and younger women often seek one another for sexual or marital relationships.