Los Angeles: Men -- whether aged 13, 30 or more — fantasise about women who are in their 20s, according to researchers from Finland, who surveyed a total of 12,656 men and women aged 18 to 49 in an attempt to study age preferences in sexual partners.
They asked each participant about which age group they were most sexually attracted to and which age group they actually engaged in sexual activity with. The results varied according to gender. Women were seen to be interested in men who were similar in age or slightly older.
Specifically, women in their late teens and 20s prefer male partners who are about four years older, and the age gap preference lessens as women get older. Men tended to be interested in one single age group: women in their mid-20s.
Researchers argue that both male and female age preferences have roots in evolutionary biology. They hypothesise that women go for older men due to the “resources” they can offer.
“Men mature later than women and in our evolutionary past, raising human offspring to nutritional independence necessitated bi-parental care,” said one researcher.
Men’s sexual preference is shaped with their offspring in mind — they are especially interested in women who are fertile. “The highest fertility has been estimated to occur in the mid-20s, with a decline after the age of 35. Especially for short-term mating, men show a high interest in fertile women,” said another researcher. This study was recently published in the journal Evolution and Human Behaviour.