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These differences may be sexual, financial or social in nature. Socially, a society with a difference in wealth distribution between older and younger people may affect the dynamics of the relationship.
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However, human males tend to have more parental investment compared to mammal males (although females still tend to have more parental investment).
Thus, both sexes will have to compete and be selective in mate choices.
A study released in 2003 by the United Kingdom's Office for National Statistics concluded that the proportion of women in England and Wales marrying younger men rose from 15% to 26% between 19.
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.
Male chimpanzees tend to prefer older females than younger and it is suggested that specific cues of female mate value are very different to humans.
Buss attributed the young age preference for females to the cues that youth has.
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).
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.
Parental Investment Theory refers to the value that is placed on a potential mate based on reproductive potential and reproductive investment.
A British psychological study published in Evolution and Human Behavior in 2010 concluded that men and women, in general, continued to follow traditional gender roles when searching for mates.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating