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For example, different age preferences may be a result of sex differences in mate values assigned to the opposite sex at those ages.A study conducted by David Buss investigated sex differences in mate preferences in 37 cultures with 10,047 participants.Within sexual selection Darwin identified a further two mechanisms which are important factors in the evolution of sex differences (sexual dimorphism): intrasexual selection (involve competition with those of the same sex over access to mates) and intersexual choice (discriminative choice of mating partners).An overarching evolutionary theory which can provide an explanation for the above mechanisms and strategies adopted by individuals which leads to age disparity in relationships is called Life History theory, Life History theory posits that individuals have to divide energy and resources between activities (as energy and resources devoted to one task cannot be used for another task) and this is shaped by natural selection.A 2003 AARP study reported that 34% of women over 39 years old were dating younger men.The rational choice model suggests that people look for partners who can provide for them in their life (bread-winners); as men traditionally earn more as they get older, women will therefore prefer older men.
In August 2010, Michael Dunn of the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff completed and released the results of a study on age disparity in dating. Error Banner.fade_out.modal_overlay.modal_overlay .modal_wrapper.modal_overlay [email protected](max-width:630px)@media(max-width:630px).modal_overlay .modal_fixed_close.modal_overlay .modal_fixed_close:before.modal_overlay .modal_fixed_close:before.modal_overlay .modal_fixed_close:before.modal_overlay .modal_fixed_close:hover:before.inline_editor_form.inline_editor_form:before,.inline_editor_form:after.inline_editor_form:after.inline_editor_content .loading.inline_editor_content:hover .inline_editor_edit.inline_editor_content .form_buttons.inline_editor_content .form_buttons .inline_editor_buttons a.inline_editor_content .form_buttons .inline_editor_buttons .inline_editor_cancel_button. Selector .selector_input_interaction .selector_input. There are also social theories for age differences in relationships as well as suggested reasons for 'alternative' age-hypogamous relationships.
Age-disparity relationships have been documented for most of recorded history and have been regarded with a wide range of attitudes dependant on sociocultural norms and legal systems. Relationships with age disparity of all kinds have been observed with both men and women as the older or younger partner.
One of the concerns of relationships with age disparities in some cultures is a perceived difference between people of different age ranges.