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Why do younger men tend to date older women?

Why do younger men tend to date older women?


London Montgomery
North Carolina A&T State University

Why do younger men tend to date older women?

Introduction
Have you ever see a younger man walk down the street hand and hand with and older
women? Did you wonder if that was his mother? Have you ever wondered why men look for a
woman that remind them of their mother? It may seem taboo to some, but in this day and age it is
becoming more acceptable. Couples like Jenifer Lopez and Caper Smart, and Gabrielle Union and
Dwayne Wade, have 10 or more years in age difference. You see couples like them in the news and
on television all the time. Have you ever wondered how a younger man could date or be in a
relationship with an older woman? Psychology of Women Quarterly published a study in 2008.
The study reported that relationships with 10 or more years in age difference are more satisfied
with their relationship.1 You see in this generation that younger men tend to go for the older women.
Young men may be dating an older woman for financial stability, maturity, or even because a
mature woman might remind them of their mother. In an AARP survey, 34% women ages 40-60
prefer to date men younger than them2 . The LA Times reported that the 1985 Census Bureau
showed that 32% of women ranging from 35-44 years old are living with a younger man.3 Sigmund
Freud stated that men tend to date older women because they had a deep love for their mothers.
So, is Freuds Oedipus Theory in play in 2016? I believe that younger men tend to date older
women because they have a deep love for their mothers and they are looking for a woman who is
mature.

Elejalde-Ruiz
McLeod
3
Arrick

Why do younger men tend to date older women?

I surveyed 10 women and 10 men and asked them them to rate, on a one to five scale,
with one being strongly disagree and five being they strongly agree, the degree to which they
agree or disagree with the following statements.
o Men tend to date older women because they are perceived as being
much more mature.
o Men tend to date older women because the women remind them of
their mothers.
The 20 participants were students at North Carolina A&T State University. The women
ranging from ages 18-21 and me ranging from ages 18-22. I randomly selected people who I
came in contact with during my day. The majority of the people surveyed were African
American. As participants filled out their survey, I asked other questions such as the following.
o Would you ever date a younger man/ older woman?
o

Why do you believe younger men date older women?

The results of the survey were pretty much the same. Out of the 10 men interviewed
seven strong agreed that men tend to date older women because they are perceived as being
much more mature. Two agreed. One neither disagreed or agreed. When given the statement,
men tend to date older women because the women remind them of their mothers, five of the
men agree. The other five neither agreed or disagreed.
Out of the 10 women interviewed six agreed that men tend to date older women because
they are perceived as being much more mature. Four neither agreed or disagreed. When given the
statement, men tend to date older women because the women remind them of their mothers,
four women agree. Five neither agreed or disagreed. One disagreed.

Why do younger men tend to date older women?

When asked if they have dated a woman older than them, all 10 of the men have dated a
woman older than them at some point and time in their life. The majority also adds that the
woman is more mature than other women. When asked if they would date a man younger than
them; the majority of women say yes. Some also add that he must be mature.

Strongly
Disagree
0%

Disagree
0%
Neither
25%

Strongly
Agree
35%

Strongly Agree
0%

Strongly
Disagree
0%

Disagree
5%

Agree
45%
Neither
50%

STATEMENT 1

Agree
40%

STATEMENT 2

The results from the survey somewhat support the hypothesis. Men do tend to date older
women because they remind them of their mothers and are looking for women who are mature.
Out of the two questions, 75% of all participants believe that men tend to date older women
because they are perceived as being much more mature. 45% of all participants believe that men
tend to date older women because the women remind them of their mothers. The majority of
men do not try to find a wife that reminds them of their mothers. That could be due to the fact
that some men may not have a strong mother presence in their life or find it a little disturbing to
see their mother in their partner. The majority of men would date/dated an older woman because
she is much more mature.

Why do younger men tend to date older women?

This finding is important in the disciple of psychology because it shows how social
psychology can be influential. The results for the second statement were really close, it shows
that for some people, their outlook on their mother could and can be a determining factor for how
they like their partner to be.

Why do younger men tend to date older women?

References
Ahmed, S. (2012). Sigmund Freuds psychoanalytic theory Oedipus complex: A critical study
with reference to D. H. Lawrences Sons and Lovers. International Journal of English
and Literature, 3(3). doi:10.5897/ijel11.137
Elejalde-Ruiz, A. (2012, September 19). Age gap couples: The appeal of older woman dating
younger men. Retrieved September 10, 2016, from
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-09-19/features/sc-fam-0918-age-gap-romance20120919_1_age-gap-age-difference-age-matters
Lawton, Z., & Callister, P. (2010, January). Older Women-Younger Men Relationships: The
Social Phenomenon of Cougars. A Research Note [Scholarly project]. In IPS. Retrieved
September 10, 2016, from http://ips.ac.nz/publications/files/be0acfcb7d0.pdf
Lehmiller, J. & Agnew, C. (2011). May-December Paradoxes: An Exploration of AgeGap Relationships in Western Society. Department of Psychological Sciences Faculty
Publications. Paper 27. http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/psychpubs/27
McLeod, B. B. (2016, January 20). Health Day. Retrieved September 23, 2016, from
https://consumer.healthday.com/encyclopedia/aging-1/age-health-news-7/older-womenyounger-men-647607.html
Warrick, P. (1992, July 29). The New Senior Partners : Relationships: As more older women and
younger men pair off, there's much scrutiny, speculation and even celebration. Retrieved
September 10, 2016, from http://articles.latimes.com/1992-07-29/news/vw4618_1_older-women-with-younger-men
Warren, Carol A. B. (1996) "Older Women, Younger Men: Self and Stigma in AgeDiscrepant Relationships," Clinical Sociology Review:
Vol. 14: Iss. 1, Article 7

Why do younger men tend to date older women?