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From The Times Online
By Mark Henderson
Men with an eye for younger ladies, and women who prefer a more mature man, are not just obeying cultural stereotypes: both have evolved to appreciate an age gap when it comes to sex and marriage, scientists have found.
Both men and women have more children when the father is a few years older than the mother, according to research suggesting that natural selection has driven each gender’s age preferences in mutually compatible ways.
Men are most reproductively successful with a partner who is six years younger than they are, while women have most children if they choose a father who is four years older, a study in Austria has shown.
One of Britain’s most successful and famously fertile marriages falls squarely in the middle of this age range. The Queen, 81, is four years and ten months younger than the Duke of Edinburgh, and they have four children – more than double the British average.
Couples in which the man is much older, however, do not have an advantage. Women whose partners are ten years older have on average the same number of children as those with spouses five years younger.
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Any person who has ever visited a nightclub is familiar with this phenomenon. Older guys, often wearing ostrich boots and fresh off of a divorce, like to prowl for younger gals. They feel it’s their right. When they were young guys on the town, the older dudes threw around a little cash and drove Corvettes and landed all the ‘tail.’ We wonder if this has anything to do with women maturing earlier than men do. Whatever the case, it’s sort of amazing that there is scientific measure behind this. Check out our Dish from August 28th on rich guys hitting it off with good-looking gals.