Our culture values youth above all else, it seems. This is particularly true for women, who seem to become more irrelevant in the eyes of society with every passing year. Even men aren’t as interested in us when we’re no longer as “hot” as we once were. As a result, we spend valuable time and money doing everything we can to preserve the looks, privilege, and status that comes with being perceived as young. It’s pretty depressing when you think about it. In fact, it’s now been scientifically proven that men want women in their 20s not just because they prefer them, but because they’re biologically hardwired to feel that way.
Do women really all want women in their 20s?
According to a study performed by Finnish researchers and published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior, men of all ages are most attracted to one group of women in particular: ones in their 20s.
In a survey of 12,656 men and women aged 18 to 49, the study’s authors aimed to uncover whether people really do have age preferences in romantic and sexual partners. All respondents were asked what age group they were most sexually attracted to in the previous year. They were also asked which age group they’d been most sexually intimate with during the same period.
By and large, the female participants preferred men their own age or slightly older. For instance, those in their twenties are looking for guys around four years older than themselves, though this decreased as the women got older.
As for the men, they were all pretty much on the same page: They want women in their mid-20s. This was true whether the man was himself in his late teens or 20s or older, in their 30s, 40s, and beyond. Talk about predictable!
It’s not all men’s fault
According to the researchers behind the study, we can’t totally blame men for discriminating against women based on age. After all, it’s down to biology. While women are said to be interested in men for the “resources” to be gained from them, men are looking for signs of youth as it translates to fertility.
“Men mature later than women and in our evolutionary past, raising human offspring to nutritional independence necessitated bi-parental care,” the authors wrote. “The highest fertility has been estimated to occur in the mid-twenties, with a decline after the age of 35. Especially for short-term mating, men show a high interest in fertile women. That is, women in their twenties.”
Attraction aside, how many men are actually getting it on with women in their 20s? Not many. Women typically slept with men in their preferred age group. In contrast, male respondents seemed to be striking out with 20-somethings. What a shame!
Of course, this isn’t a hard and fast rule. There are likely men out there who are happy to date women their own age. However, this is clearly a trend that’s popular around the world. Until attitudes change around aging and women’s worth, it’s likely to continue. The best we can do is focus on self-love and look for the good guys. They don’t care what year you were born. What matters most is who you are inside.