Age difference in couples
During the past 40 years, gender relationships in family life and society have drastically changed. Over 55% of children today grow up in a single mom household, with the mother being the only provider and breadwinner. In what we call the First World, women younger than 45 in average have a higher education than men and in only 8% of all families, the men are the sole breadwinners, without the women substituting the men’s income with part-time work. At the same time, death in childbirth has come down to under 2%. The two sole reasons for pairing older men with younger women have thus disappeared.
New studies regarding human sexuality confirm: while men reach their sexual prime in their late teens and their sexual activities steeply declines after their 30th year, women’s sexuality gradually climbs and reaches their height in their mid-forties. Women in average enjoy sex way into their late seventies and climax increasingly easier, while in aging men, problems with holding erections and reaching climax are common. As a result of these studies, social and psychological experts recommend the pairing of women at least 5-10 years their senior with younger male partners to adjust to the biological cycles of sexual activities. As women are having babies later in life, parent-ship for the even older men often turns out to be too stressful to handle.
Yet, women dating younger men are often public targets of ridicule and sexist jokes. While we easily accept younger women paired with men that could pass for their grandfathers, a slightly older women at the side of a younger men devaluates the men socially, makes him look unattractive (like he “can’t get a younger women”) or emasculates him economically (he has to find a mother replacement to take care of him, also financially). At the same time, an older man with a younger woman improves his status, implies his sexual potency, attractiveness and financial status.
What’s wrong with this picture? It does not benefit men nor women. Men get under increasing pressure to perform economically and sexually even through their status in society is declining. Women cannot enjoy their newly improved status economically and socially and are sexually frustrated in epidemic proportions. As the gender relationship develops into a more even keeled one, I hope this ancient gender rule will be abandoned for the benefit of happier men, women and their children. Its interesting how we grow up with the belief that in couples, women should preferably be younger than their male partners – but definitely should NOT be older. One of the reason for this assumption comes from earlier times, when women were not allowed to work for money but their sole purpose and contribution was supposed to be the raising of children and housekeeping. The man was supposed to be mature enough to make an income (mostly through physical hard labor) while the chances for survival of unaided childbirth in women were best during early teenage age. Also, as men were told by the bible to dominate “this woman”, a younger woman was easier to boss around. She was also more unlikely to fight whatever abuse came her way. Additionally, sexual fulfillment in women was not even discussed and seemed impossible until actually 1973, when the Kinsey report clarified for the first time in history that women actually do have orgasms and are actually able to enjoy sex.