Email The stereotype that older men are usually attracted to much younger women may not fully reflect reality, a new study suggests. The study of Finnish adults found that many heterosexual men were, in fact, interested in women substantially younger than they were. But on the other hand, men were also attracted to women their own age.
And as they aged, their preferences for a sexual partner matured, too. For the study, Antfolk surveyed nearly 2, adults between the ages of 18 and Some were single, he said, and some were in long-term relationships.
The majority were heterosexual, while just over 1, were bisexual or homosexual. Then they were asked about their actual partners in the past five years.
Overall, Antfolk found, young men preferred women their own age. And compared with women, men were generally more willing to consider a partner substantially younger than they were. For example, the average age of heterosexual men in the study was And on average, they would consider having sex with a woman as young as By comparison, heterosexual women were 35 years old, on average, and the youngest partner they would consider was around 27 again, on average , the findings showed. As women grew older, they generally put more limits on how young they would go: Their youngest age limit crept up by two months, on average, each year.
But men were also interested in women their own age, the study found. And men and women did not differ much when it came to the oldest age they would consider. They typically had sex with women who were close to their own age. As for bisexual and homosexual study participants, similar patterns showed up.
Typically, men were more willing to consider much younger partners than women were. But those interests translated into behavior more often for homosexual men.
Their actual partners were sometimes much younger, the study found. According to Lehmiller, that finding is in line with past research showing larger age differences in same-sex couples versus heterosexual couples. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.