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Socially acceptable dating age

socially acceptable dating age-15

Although this is a fun rule of thumb, what does research say about age preferences for potential mates?There are two things that predict a preferred partner’s age: (a) your age and (b) your biological sex (male vs. From an evolutionary perspective, it makes sense for women to prefer mates with resources and to like partners who are more established, both of which are more likely in older partners. It turns out that, on average, women tend to be married to men a few years older than themselves (2-5 years).

If you look at studies now you'll see that women have an average 9 year age range either side of their own with a preference for a small 4 years either side of their own age.As well as asking participants a number of questions on mate selection criteria, they also had to provide the oldest and youngest partner they would accept.It was found that for all ages males were willing to accept females that are slightly older than they are (on average 4.5 years older), but they accept females considerably younger than their own age (on average 10 years younger).Age-disparity relationships have been documented for most of recorded history and have been regarded with a wide range of attitudes dependant on sociocultural norms and legal systems.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).However, it doesn’t represent women’s preferences at all.

So maybe there is a kernel of truth the rule, at least for men. Le's research focuses on commitment, including the factors associated with commitment and its role in promoting maintenance.

These two theories explain why natural and sexual selection acts slightly differently on the two sexes so that they display different preferences.

For example, different age preferences may be a result of sex differences in mate values assigned to the opposite sex at those ages.

These age preferences were confirmed in marriage records with males marrying females younger than them and vice versa.

This study used 21,245 participants between 18 and 65 years of age who were not involved in a close relationship.

A common rule of thumb, at least on the internet, is that it’s okay to be interested in someone “half your age plus seven” years.