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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.
Parental Investment Theory refers to the value that is placed on a potential mate based on reproductive potential and reproductive investment.These age preferences were confirmed in marriage records with males marrying females younger than them and vice versa.This study used 21,245 participants between 18 and 65 years of age who were not involved in a close relationship.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.
Although the "cougar" theme, in which older women date much younger men, is often portrayed in the media as a widespread and established facet of modern Western culture, at least one academic study has found the concept to be a "myth".Females demonstrate a complementary pattern, being willing to accept considerably older males (on average 8 years older) and were also willing to accept males slightly younger than themselves (on average 5 years younger).This is somewhat different to our close evolutionary relatives: chimpanzees.Differences in age preferences for mates can stem from evolutionary mating strategies and age preferences in sexual partners may vary cross culturally.