Le phénomène Cougar: une étude du mythe.
So much for cougar gals
By CATHY BURKE
Last Updated: 6:26 AM, August 19, 2010
Posted: 2:56 AM, August 19, 2010
The cougar myth has been declawed.
Despite a bevy of A-list beauties fueling talk of a growing trend for older women on the prowl for younger men, a new university study shows females still think of older -- and richer -- guys as Mr. Right.
And, according to the Wales study, men prefer young and attractive partners -- and even younger women as the men themselves age.
The findings, published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior, disputes the cougar phenomenon popularized in TV shows such as "Cougar Town" starring Courteney Cox and the real-life match-ups of celebs such as Demi Moore and Madonna with younger guys.
The 'Cougar' concept: older women preying on younger men is a myth, claim scientists
Madonna and Demi Moore may prefer toyboys but the trend of older women going out with younger men is a myth outside of the world of celebrities, a study claims.
By Richard Alleyne, Science Correspondent
Published: 3:18PM BST 19 Aug 2010
British psychologists said that the phenomenon of the "cougar" – older women on the prowl for younger men – does not actually exist in the real world.
They studied a number of online dating sites and found that men and women are still rather traditional when it comes to searching for their ideal partner.
Women generally seek an older and, therefore hopefully, wealthier man whereas men desire a young and attractive female, and often prefer a much younger partner as they themselves age.
The findings, published in the journal Evolution and Human Behaviour, disputes the phenomenon popularised in TV shows and movies like "Cougar Town" starring Courteney Cox and "Sex and the City" of women aged over 40 seeking "cubs".
Dr Michael Dunn, a psychologist at the University of Wales, led the study which involved analysing the age preferences of 22,000 men and women using online dating sites across 14 countries and two religious groups.
"A critically important consideration for advertisers on online dating sites appears to be the age of a potential partner," Dr Dunn said.
He said it was a commonly held assumption that with the advent of female financial independence, women were now free to target men of any age group, as securing financial security from older, wealthier males was no longer a priority.
"The transference of female desire from relatively older men to relatively younger men, it has been argued, is reflected by the growth of the toy boy phenomenon," he said.
"The results of our research challenges these assumptions. Although there was some cultural variation in extremes, the results showed clearly that women across all age groups and cultures, targeted males either their own age or older."
Dr Dunn said a strikingly different pattern of age preferences was evident in men.
Younger men, aged 20 to 25, either targeted females their own age or marginally younger.
But as males aged, they clearly expressed a preference for women increasingly younger than themselves, with this pattern also being cross-culturally consistent.
"These findings are clearly supportive of evolutionary theory," Dr Dunn added.
"A wide variety of evidence has shown that women, when considering a potential long-term partner, focus more than males on cues indicative of wealth and status and these logically accumulate with age.
"Males conversely focus more intently on physical attractiveness cues and these are clearly correlated with the years of maximum fertility."
The study concluded: "Madonna and Demi Moore are said to be influencing a whole new generation of 'cougar' women who see much younger men as their goal when looking for a long-term partner.
"But this notion of the 'toyboy' phenomenon is dispelled as a myth which only exists in the world of celebrity rather than reflecting real life."
The countries involved in the survey were Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, China, Greece, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, and Ukraine.
Source: Daily Telegraph.
Demi Moore is said to be influencing a whole new generation of 'cougar' women.