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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.Also, women expressed concern over the prospect of ageing and whether it would affect their partner’s attraction to them.

According to the piece, the main driving force that brought cougars in from the wilderness was Hollywood. READ MORE: The Ultimate Guide to Dating a Single Parent 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.

For our in-depth analysis of the cougar phenomenon, read on...

There’s been an enormous amount of media coverage centred on older women dating younger men over the last decade.

This means that she’s on the same wavelength as her younger companion, who’s probably not entertaining the thought of starting a family.” READ MORE: Love & Libido: How Matching Your Sex Drive Can Save Your Relationship Understandably, this can be a breath of fresh air: “It enables older women to regain a bit of youthfulness with their partner,” Marine adds.

Energetic romping aside, a young admirer is a welcome alternative to the more vintage male, especially in the spontaneity department.

The now well-known term wasn’t a reference to the Chinese calendar; rather, it was a bordering-on-crass idiom coined to define 40-plus women with a predilection for younger gentlemen.

Although the US-based 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.

For Marine, one of the biggest draws has a lot to do with compatibility.

“When an older woman looks for a younger partner, she’s probably quite comfortable with her sexuality,” she explains, “it’s likely that she’s already been married or had children.

Crucially, the Quebecois researchers disproved the ‘rich white’ cougar stereotype by demonstrating that many of these older women come from diverse ethnic backgrounds and also fall within lower income brackets.

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