The now well-known term wasn’t a reference to the Chinese calendar; rather, it was a bordering-on-crass idiom coined to define 40-plus women with a predilection for younger gentlemen.Although the US-based magazine reasoned that the cougar-craze was a fad destined for cultural oblivion, the article offered up an intriguing explanation for the newfound popularity of older woman/younger man relationships.Whilst still packed with hidden meaning, ‘sugar daddy’ isn’t nearly as derogatory as its big-cat counterpart.
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Crucially, the Quebecois researchers disproved the ‘rich white’ cougar stereotype by demonstrating that many of these older women come from diverse ethnic backgrounds and also fall within lower income brackets.
So, if women from all walks of life are ignoring the stigma and romancing with the more youthful cohort of the male population, it begs the question; what’s the appeal?
What’s more, the way in which news outlets around the world, included, represented the issue is perhaps more telling of the way older women are perceived by society.
First off, the very word ‘cougar’ is most certainly moot.
After pulling data from the National Survey of Family Growth, the Canadian initiative found that approximately 13 percent of sexually active women between 35 and 44 have slept with a man at least 5 years their junior.
Not only did they discover that middle aged women who’d been previously married were more likely to seek a younger mate, they also showed that older woman/younger man relationships are rarely brief flings (on average they last for 2 years).
In the native New Yorker’s opinion, older women are routinely subject to much stricter norms when it comes to picking sexual partners. Yet it’s not all cradle snatching and oedipal gloom for older women dating younger men.