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Without getting too entangled in semantics, Elite Singles resident psychologist, Salama Marine, is quick to discuss this point.
“Prejudices have a tendency to stick, even if society is changing,” she says, “calling an older woman a cougar isn’t meaningless, it’s a way of defining her as a predator who’s only interested in hunting down younger prey.” For an enlightening comparison it’s worth looking at an equivalent expression for older men who hook up with younger women.
What’s more, the way in which news outlets around the world, included, represented the issue is perhaps more telling of the way single women over 40 are perceived by society.
First off, the very word ‘cougar’ is most certainly moot.
Indeed, shows like Off screen, the frenzy that surrounded Demi Moore’s marriage to Ashton Kutcher, not forgetting the widely reported liaisons of stars such as Madonna, Mariah Carey and Sandra Bullock, allegedly serve as further evidence.
Nevertheless, it somehow seems precarious to start explaining away the genuine rise in older women dating younger men by skimming off examples from LA’s amorous glitterati.
Instead it’s a jocular reaffirmation of man’s traditional role as father-figure and provider of material wealth (and woman’s role as recipient).Also, women expressed concern over the prospect of ageing and whether it would affect their partner’s attraction to them.The trio behind the project were sure to report that “vast age differences, especially in woman-older relationships, clearly violate the norms of this society”. 40 years ago, writer and activist Susan Sontag penned ‘The Double Standard of Ageing’ for the now defunct .Although the magazine reasoned that the cougar-craze was a fad destined for cultural oblivion, the article offered up an intriguing explanation for the newfound popularity of older woman/younger man relationships.According to the piece, the main driving force that brought cougars in from the wilderness was Hollywood.
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After pulling data from the National Survey of Family Growth, the Canadian initiative found that approximately 13 percent of sexually active women between 35 and 44 have slept with a man at least 5 years their junior.