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Men’s preferred partner age: The rule states that you can calculate maximum acceptable partner ages by subtracting seven from your own age and multiplying it by two.Figure 2 clearly shows that the rule’s max-age guidelines for men do reflect real-world preferences.According to the rule, for example, a 30-year-old should be with a partner who is at least 22, while a 50-year-old’s dating partner must be at least 32 to not attract (presumed) social sanction. Does it match our scientific understanding of age-related preferences for dating? People reported distinct age preferences for marriage; a serious relationship; falling in love; casual sex; and sexual fantasies. Based on the figures Buunk and colleagues (2000) provided (and thus the numbers are only informed approximations), I replotted their data superimposing the max and min age ranges defined by the half-your-age-plus-7 rule.Now we can see how well the rule corresponds with people’s reported acceptable ages.Instead, men report maximum acceptable partner ages that hover around their own age through their 40s.After 40, maximum age preferences for most categories remain lower than their own age.The rule’s calculated minimum acceptable partner ages seem to fit men better than women.
Clooney has been scrutinized at times for dating younger women, though not consistently, and this pattern is nicely reflected in a graph of his own age, his partners’ ages, and the rule’s calculations for minimum and maximum acceptable ages.
Women in their 40s think that approximately 35 or older is acceptable for marriage or a relationship.
Even when fantasizing, such women’s minimum age preference remains over 30.
In general, the figure shows that women are reporting minimum age preferences that the rule’s predictions.
In other words, while the rule states that 40-year-old women can feel comfortable dating 27-year-old men, this does not reflect the social preferences and standards of women.