However, human males tend to have more parental investment compared to mammal males (although females still tend to have more parental investment).Thus, both sexes will have to compete and be selective in mate choices.Age disparity in sexual relationships is the difference in ages of individuals in sexual relationships.Concepts of these relationships, including what defines an age disparity, have developed over time and vary among societies.Differences in age preferences for mates can stem from evolutionary mating strategies and age preferences in sexual partners may vary cross culturally.There are also social theories for age differences in relationships as well as suggested reasons for 'alternative' age-hypogamous relationships.
This is somewhat different to our close evolutionary relatives: chimpanzees.A British psychological study published in Evolution and Human Behavior in 2010 concluded that men and women, in general, continued to follow traditional gender roles when searching for mates.The study found that, as supported by other academic studies, most men preferred younger, physically attractive women, while most women, of any age, preferred successful, established men their age or older.These differences may be sexual, financial or social in nature. Socially, a society with a difference in wealth distribution between older and younger people may affect the dynamics of the relationship.
Although the "cougar" theme, in which older women date much younger men, is often portrayed in the media as a widespread and established facet of modern Western culture, at least one academic study has found the concept to be a "myth".
As well as asking participants a number of questions on mate selection criteria, they also had to provide the oldest and youngest partner they would accept.