Young vs old dating
After 40, maximum age preferences for most categories remain lower than their own age.
Thus the rule for maximum ages is fairly ineffective at capturing what men actually believe is acceptable. Now let's apply the rule to actual dating behavior by examining George Clooney’s dating habits.
Even when fantasizing, such women’s minimum age preference remains over 30.
The rule’s calculated minimum acceptable partner ages seem to fit men better than women.
Women’s preferred minimum partner age: Below are the data from Buunk et al.’s (2000) study on women’s minimum age preferences; the rule’s age calculations are represented by the solid line.
In general, the figure shows that women are reporting minimum age preferences that the rule’s predictions.
Those age preferences consistently hover around the values denoted by the rule (the black line).
If anything, in practice men are than the rule would designate appropriate.
Men’s preferred minimum partner age: Let’s start with minimum age preferences reported by heterosexual men.In Figure 1, the solid black line represents the rule’s calculation for minimum acceptable range.You can see that men are basically operating by the rule for minimum age preferences for marital relationships (blue bars) and serious dating relationships (yellow bars).For example, this sample of 60-year-old men report that it is acceptable to fantasize about women in their 20s, which the rule would say is unacceptable.But fantasies, of course, are not generally subject to public scrutiny and the rule is only designed to calculate what is socially acceptable —so this discrepancy is not necessarily a failure of the rule.