I Knew It: The “Cougar Phenomenon” Is A Myth!

August 23, 2010 by  
Filed under Rants & Reviews

So Time Magazine just released a story about a study that claims the “cougar phenomenon” of older women dating younger men is largely a myth.  Check it out:

For a decade now we’ve been chronicling the emergence of cougars in the dating jungle: women, usually over 40, who hunt younger men, or cubs, and shower them with a tantalizingly experienced kind of love — and lots of Abba music. There are cougar celebrities — 47-year-old Demi Moore married 32-year-old Ashton Kutcher — cougar books, cougar cruises and, perhaps the ultimate affirmation, cougar sitcoms, including the popular Cougar Town, starring real-life cougar Courteney Cox. What further proof do we need of this species’ existence?

Michael Dunn isn’t buying it. The noted psychology researcher at the University of Wales Institute in Cardiff has just released a study that he insists renders the cougar craze a “myth.” After examining the age preferences expressed in 22,400 singles ads on popular dating websites in North America, Europe, Australia and Japan, he found no sizable cohort of women seeking younger men. To the contrary, almost all of them wanted men their own age or older. Nor did he find evidence for the proliferation of cubs: the overwhelming majority of men displayed their eons-old preference for younger women. “I do believe the cougar phenomenon is a myth and, yes, a media construct,” Dunn, who specializes in human evolutionary psychology and mating behavior, told the Australian Associated Press.

Of course, the article includes the counter-argument from people who say the cougar phenomenon is real, but here’s my take on things…

First of all, I personally believe this type of thing is just a construct of feminist media in an effort to try and put sexuality for older females on equal footing with that of older males.  You know, the ones that chase after the hot young 20-somethings?  After all, if feminists just accept the concept that a woman’s sexuality over 40 is somehow inferior to a man’s, that would essentially be admitting defeat, wouldn’t it?

Now, I do think that there is something to younger men going after older women.  Guys are horny by nature, and different guys like different things.  And I know lots of dudes who hook up with chicks who are older than they are.  But the notion that WOMEN are the aggressors never sat right with me, which is what the whole “cougar phenomenon” is all about – older women prowling for younger men.  Honestly, I don’t see a vast number of women suddenly making the switch after they hit 40 to being aggressive with guys.  If a younger guy hooks up with an older woman, it’s usually because the younger guy makes it happen somehow.

And it’s also been my experience that women, in general, prefer dating men their own age or older.  I think most women don’t like the idea of a guy who’s younger than them, because the male/female dynamic is supposed to be one where the man is inherently in control, and a younger man doesn’t fit that bill.  That’s not to say there are exceptions to that rule, but in my experience, that’s what exists.

Also, I think if given the choice between a woman who’s over 40 and a woman who’s still in her 20s, the vast majority of men would go for the one in their 20s.

So yeah, I agree with this study that the “cougar phenomenon” is largely a myth.  What do you guys think?

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One Response to “I Knew It: The “Cougar Phenomenon” Is A Myth!”
  1. nipple says:

    It’s hard to find knowledgeable people in this particular topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about!

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