Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Friday, April 13, 2018

And Never The Twain...

"Their potential interest in younger women is not likely [to be] converted into sexual activity."
"Sure, some older men have a strong preference for clearly younger women, but most tend to also find older women attractive."
"An interesting finding is that as men age, they become less picky about age. They report an interest in both younger and older women."
"Natural selection has probably shaped men’s sexual strategies to include a particular interest in highly fertile, young women. But because women, in many cases, are more picky with respect to sexual partners, most men could not find a partner unless their sexual motivation would be more inclusive."
"Humans tend to have long-lasting sexual relationships and this would not be possible if all men were [only] interested in young women."
"We look for many different characteristics when choosing a partner, and age is just one of them."
"The findings might help relax the belief that men are mainly interested in young women."
Jan Antfolk, Abo Akademi University, Turku, Finland 

Do the conclusions of a study on an aspect of human behaviour shaped by biology, environment, heritage and culture readily transfer to other geographical jurisdictions whose social culture might be quite different? To some extent it would, when the major thrust of the study has been to derive an opinion from synthesizing observable results and responses from a demographic, since though customs vary from geography to geography, basic human instincts tend to coalesce around some fundamental realities.

A primitive reality is that nature equipped men to hunt out nubile young women to carry their seed, on the premise that the most promising childbearing years would be likelier to produce offspring that were healthier and likelier to survive, than those produced by an aging female, thus promoting the  survival of the genetic blueprint of the man imprinted to ensure he would gravitate to the most viable solution for his predicament, that of survival; of his very particular genetic inheritance.

Many hundreds of thousands of years may separate us from our progenitors, the original human strain within which nature implanted that primal urge, but nature's organisms while developing through evolutionary strides in many areas, have never abandoned any of the facets of human interaction associated with survival. All of us, men and women, admire youth, its presence, liveliness, beauty and promise for the future. Men in particular are drawn to the freshness and sensuous attraction of youth; in their deep subconscious it equates with fecundity.

Young women with firm limbs and skin, curvaceous and dewy, capture the attention of most men as objects both of admiration and desire. Men have always been attracted to, and respond to the allure of younger women as possible sexual partners; the commonplace scenario of a man leaving his aging wife for a much younger women is no urban legend. But men are also practical and at some level for many men if what they desire is unattainable, they will settle for what they can attain.

What they can attain, a woman whose age is more reflective of their own, makes for a more comfortable lifestyle fit. There is nothing enjoyable about being married to someone decades younger then yourself who gravitates to a style of life more suited to the young than a man settled into his 50s and 60s is likely to appreciate. And from the younger woman's perspective, being saddled with an older man has its very particular detriments ranging from physical attraction to physical decline in all its permutations.

The Finnish study, the results of which was published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology, included over 2,500 people and concluded that if an older man remains inflexible about his inclination to date younger women, he may find himself dating no one. The urge for companionship, particularly when one ages, comes in direct competition with the urge to procreate; not that older men want to procreate; rather their urge is to go through the motions; sterile sex.

Once an older man fully understands the playing field he was once familiar with has changed; that he is no longer sexually attractive as a physical specimen, with advanced age to the younger women he pursues, he realizes that women as young as his daughter, while appealingly attractive, are also inappropriate as lifestyle companion choices. In his 50s, a transference of interest takes place, toward women whose age and interests in life more closely mirror his own.

"If you are with someone 20 years younger, they've probably got a different life experience. When you get to a certain age, you start to creak at the seams. If you're dating someone younger, there well may be a mismatch in your pace of life", observed 68-year-old Jonathan. "After a 20-year relationship I began online dating. I was talking to girls in their 20s because those were the ones I felt most attracted to. But none seemed interested. All they wanted to do was send me titillating pictures of themselves. When I tried to take things further, they ghosted me. I hadn't expected them to be so immature", he said.

The question there might more logically be who was the more immature? Close to 70 he had little interest in women in their 50s, or 60s, so how mature is that?

Adults in the study group were between the ages of 18 and 50, some single, some in long-term relationships, most were heterosexual and about a third of the participants identified as bisexual or homosexual, surprisingly. All ventured an age range they considered appropriate for a sex partner and were queried about the past five years of their sexual activities. In general young men preferred women their own age. But were open to women substantially younger.

The average age of heterosexual men in the study was 37, with most considering sex with women around 21 in contrast to heterosexual women at 35, with their youngest partner choice being 27. It seems as women age they place greater limits on how young a man they are willing to have sex with; the definition of "too young" increased by about four months for each year a woman gained in age.
 Age-appropriate preferences evolved within the male grouping as well, but not quite to the extent seen with women's. As they aged, their youngest age limit increased each year by two months on average. In the final analysis, most of the men it turned out, were having sex with women closer to their own age. Their 'druthers, in preferring younger women were more fantasy than fact.

But of course these findings reflected Finnish society and culture; how the findings translate elsewhere around the world is debatable.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - AUGUST 07: Playboy founder Hugh Hefner (L) and TV personality Crystal Harris attend the Beverly Hills City Council and Playboy Enterprises, Inc.'s celebration of the return of Playboy headquarters to Beverly Hills on August 7, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)

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