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The Older Woman Syndrome

Men go for them if they are pretty, says researcher

Do men always go for the younger woman?

Not necessarily. One study shows that men sometimes go for older women. Is that because they're looking for someone who is wise, compassionate and strong? Not exactly, says the study. Older women have an edge on younger women only if they are pretty, according to an article from the BBC News.

Dr. George Fieldman, an evolutionary psychologist from Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College, U.K., says his findings contradict traditional assumptions that men usually opt for younger women because they can bear more children. He says men choose their partners because they are attractive, which relates to a "pleasure urge, rather than a reproductive one."

Scientists generally assume males of most species, including humans, go for "quantity over quality," so that they can produce as many offspring as possible. This is often cited as a reason why more men than women are apt to stray from a relationship. But Fieldman says, when it comes to the reproductive urge, men may in fact go for "quality" in the form of an attractive women. He says that men may be genetically disposed to this kind of attraction, thus explaining why they are more likely to stray. He adds, however, "That's no excuse."

Fieldman says the preference for pretty women may be related to a desire on the part of men to have attractive children, who will fare better in life.

Whether you're young or old, there are plenty of ways to make yourself more attractive, if that's important to you. For more on that, you can read this article from Prevention magazine, or this one from Redbook.

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