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Cougars: Fact of Fiction?

Cougars: Fact of Fiction?

A new study being reported about reveals some shocking news about women.  Get ready for this; cougars, a word coined to describe an older woman who is on the hunt for younger men, don’t actually exist.  The study, being reported about everywhere from Time magazine to the New York Post, claims the cougar craze has become mythical in proportion to the actual number of women looking to date younger men.  

Psychology researcher, Michael Dunn, conducted the study by analyzing over 20,000 singles ads from a variety of popular dating sites around the world.  During all of his research, Dunn was unable to find a substantial number of middle-aged women looking for younger men.  Most women over the age of 40 were looking for men their own age.  Dunn was also unable to find a sizable number of “cubs”, younger men looking to date older women.  What he did find was the social norm we have grown used to, a lot of older men looking for younger women.

Dunn believes the cougar craze has become popular from all of the media attention shows like "Cougar Town" and celebrities like Madonna and Demi Moore have gotten in recent years for dating younger men.  But just because a handful of celebrities are doing it does not mean women are rushing out to find younger men.  Dunn says, “I do believe the cougar phenomenon is a myth and, yes, a media construct.”

Though Dunn’s research has proven convincing to some, a lot of women are not buying it.  A 2003 study from the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) found that 34 percent of women aged 40 plus were dating younger men.  Valerie Gibson, Toronto-based jounalist, thinks the AARP study is more accurate than Dunn’s because it shows the percentage of women that are currently involved with men “as opposed to what they’re socially conditioned to tell dating sites they’re interested in.”

What do you think of the latest study proving cougars don’t exist?

Do you think Dunn’s study is accurate?

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  • heyitscha By heyitscha
    08.19.10  

    hmmm i would like to think that the "cougars" craze is non exsistant. in my opinion people should date in the same age group as themselves. if not the same age, close to it :)

  • Redhedjewl By Redhedjewl
    08.19.10  

    I think there are more out there than people will admit to. I know several myself. I think the older you get - late 40's to 50's and up maybe turn to their own age. Besides who wants to let some young hottie look at all that oldness!

  • sheryln By sheryln
    08.19.10  

    Age is just a number. Attraction isn't linked to that number. Sometimes you need someone older or younger to fit where you are at that moment in your life. I have dated men who were a no more that 4 or 5 years younger or up to 10 years older. The success and extent of our relationship wasn't related to that age difference. I would have to agree that most people aren't willing to admit that they are looking for a twenty-something when they are 40-something.

  • Danie1214 By Danie1214
    08.19.10  

    I really don't think scouring personal ads gives an accurate view on people. I guess it might just be where I live since we have a high retirement community we have a lot of "cougars" around town. It's not uncommon to go out to a nightclub and see older women looking for younger men.

  • zitra1 By zitra1
    08.20.10  

    Lot of cougars where we live too. But I have foudn a lot of people's definition of cougar varies....I personally think cougars are women who go after younger men, and in hunt for them to the exclusion of men their own age. Most people who live near me seem to think even if they are not the pursuers that women who are older than someone they aredating (even if the guy pursues the woman) that the women are cougars. The name itself describes what it means....A woman who is on the prowl (for younger men/cubs)

  • LaurenAF2010 By LaurenAF2010
    08.20.10  

    "34 percent of women aged 40 plus were dating younger men." It doesn't say how much younger. My guess is that that a great majority of that 34 percent were only dating men 5 or less years younger than themselves; not exactly what I would consider a "cougar." We all know that cougars do exist, but it's not likely that they are numerous as the media would like us to think they are.

  • soccermama By soccermama
    08.22.10  

    My sister is 40+ and never married. She dates men much younger than her because they are not married. I think that's great! You are only as "old" as you feel!! ; )

  • Leisha By Leisha
    08.22.10  

    There are more out there than you think. However, if both people are adults, who cares, its their business.

  • pmoran By pmoran
    08.22.10  

    Guess I was a cougar about 24 years ago before there was a name for dating and marrying someone younger then yourself. I find nothing wrong with the age difference; actually, I'm 6 years older then him but am much more active then he is. We get along great and I think that's all that really matters anyway!

  • quixoticallychaotic By quixoticallychaotic
    08.23.10  

    I married 10 years older than myself and now date younger. I'll be 40 this year and my youngest was early 20s. It's not that I'm seeking out a "cub" perse, it seems the younger men are attracted to a more confident, self-aware woman. It is what it is. Cougar? I've never been one for labels.

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