Age disparity in sexual relationships - Wikipedia
As access to education increases worldwide, the age of marriage increases with it, with more of the youth staying in education for longer. The mean age of marriage in Europe is well above 25, and averaging at 30 in Nordic countries, however this may also be due to the increase of cohabitation in European countries. Social structural origin theory argues that the underlying cause of sex-differentiated behaviour is the concentration of men and women in differing roles in society.
It has been argued that a reason gender roles are so prevalent in society is that the expectations of gender roles can become internalised in a person's self-concept and personality.
Women and men tend to seek a partner that will fit in with their society's sexual division of labour. For example, a marital system based on males being the provider and females the domestic worker, favours an age gap in the relationship. An older male is more likely to have more resources to provide to the family. The picture often displays a stereotypical pairing of a divorced, middle-aged, white, affluent female dating a younger male with the relationship taking the form of a non-commitment arrangement between the partners.
Sexual double standards in society, in particular, may account for their rarity. A number of variables have been argued to influence the likelihood of women entering into an age-hypogamous relationship, such as racial or ethnic background, level of education, income, marital status, conservatism, age, and number of sexual partners. French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte. The couple married in ; at the time he was 30 years old and she 54, demonstrating a year age gap between the pair.
Another example illustrating the varying literature surrounding age-hypogamous relationships is research indicating that a woman's marital status can influence her likelihood of engaging in age-hypogamous relationships. It has been found that married women are less likely to be partnered with a younger male compared to non-married women  in comparison to more recent findings, which provides evidence to suggest that previously married women are more likely to engage in an age-hypogamous sexual relationship compared to women who are married or who have never been married.
A recent study found that when shown pictures of women of ages ranging from 20—45 with different levels of attractiveness, regardless of age, males chose the more attractive individuals as long term partners. Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page.
Please do not remove this message until conditions to do so are met. Across Western countries, about 8 per cent of all married heterosexual couples can be classified as having a large age gap 10 years or more.
How big of an age gap is needed to be considered weird for dating for 21 year olds?
These generally involve older men partnered with younger women. About 1 per cent of age-gap couples involve an older woman partnered with a younger man.
The limited evidence on same-sex couples, however, suggests the prevalence rates are higher. About 25 per cent of male-male unions and 15 per cent of female-female unions demonstrate a large age gap.
Age disparity in sexual relationships
But what these trends tell us is that the majority of the population is likely to partner with someone of similar age. This largely has to do with having social circles that generally include peers of similar ages and being attracted to others who are similar.Does Age Matter? - Best Age Gap For A Successful Relationship
Similarity entails many things, including personality, interests and values, life goals and stage of life, and physical traits age being a marker of physical appearance. Why doesn't age matter to some? Many of the reasons proposed for age-gap couples have been largely rooted in evolutionary explanations, and focus on explaining older man-younger woman pairings.
From this perspective, it's thought men's preferences for younger women and women's preferences for older men relate to reproductive fitness.
That is, the extent to which someone has "good genes" — indicated by their attractiveness and sense of energy also known as vitality — and the extent to which they are a "good investment" — indicated by their status and resources as well as their warmth and sense of trust.
Although men and women place importance on a partner who is warm and trustworthy, women place more importance on the status and resources of their male partner. This is largely because, with women being the child bearers, the investment is very high on their behalf time and effort in child bearing and rearing. So they are attuned to looking for a partner who will also invest resources into a relationship and family. In couples with an age gap it's more likely the woman is younger.
This is probably because women place more importance on resources and men on fertility.
The success of a relationship depends on partners sharing similar values, beliefs and goals about their relationship. So, women being attuned to status and resources might explain why some women may be attracted to older men.
In contrast, there's evidence to suggest men value attractiveness and vitality more than women because, from an evolutionary standpoint, youth is seen as an indicator of fertility. Given men cannot bear children, evolution suggests they're attuned to younger women to enhance the chances of partnering with someone who can provide children.
But the evolutionary explanation is limited in that it doesn't explain why the reverse occurs an older woman-younger man pairingor why age gaps exist within same-sex couples.
For this, socio-cultural explanations might provide insights. With more women now working in higher positions and being paid more, they no longer have such a reliance on men for resources. So, fewer women will prioritise resources when looking for a mate.
As for same-sex couples, there's very little research. Some suggest a lack ofor a reduced pool of, suitable age-similar mates may bring about same-sex coupling with large age differences. What are the relationship outcomes for age-gap couples?