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Whereas women of all ages prefer slightly older sexual partners, men—regardless of their age—have a preference for women in their 20s. This research has not, however, sufficiently considered that the age range of considered partners might change over the life span. Here we investigated the age limits youngest and oldest of considered and actual sex partners in a population-based sample of 2, adults aged years.

Over the investigated age span, women reported a narrower age range than men and women tended to prefer slightly older men. Compared to homosexual men, bisexual and heterosexual men were more unlikely to convert young preferences into actual behavior, supporting female-choice theory. The magnitude of this increase differs between the sexes. Women tend to prefer partners who are similar to or somewhat older than they themselves are e. The result is that older men tend to be interested in women younger than themselves Antfolk et al.

Generally speaking, earlier studies suggest that heterosexual men—irrespective of their own age—are attracted to women in their 20s and that very few men are exclusively interested in very young or very old women e. Studies have used various measures, including surveys Antfolk et al.

In this context, it is also important to separate between studies investigating sexual interest, actual sexual behavior, or age disparity in long-term relationships. This is also true for sexual behavior. Sex, in most cases, necessitates that the sexual interest of two individuals overlap. For example, studies looking at marriage announcements will be informative regarding age disparity in relationships and provide only limited information regarding differences in sexual interest.

For example, Buunk, Dijkstra, Kenrick, and Wrantjes showed that men prefer older partners for short-term versus long-term mating, suggesting that age preferences depend on the amount of involvement. A similar finding was later presented in a study by Young, Critelli, and Keith To the extent these alleles are associated with sexual age preferences, such preferences would become decreasingly rare in the population e. What about sexual age preferences in homosexual vs. These findings have been taken to support the modularity hypothesis of sexual orientation.

The modularity hypothesis e. Thus, no differences in age preferences would be expected based on sexual orientation alone. Very little is known about age preferences in bisexuals. A study by Adam suggests, however, that both homosexual men and bisexual men display the same interest in young partners as heterosexual men do. This finding has been explained as a function of female choice. Parental investment theory Trivers, predicts that women are choosier than men with respect to the characteristics of a potential sexual partner.

The reason for this is that women invest more than men in pregnancy, child birth, and nurturing and therefore invest more energy in the case of a pregnancy—a very possible consequence of sex Trivers, Hence, in the context of sexual interest, no large differences in age preferences is expected, but in the context of sexual behavior, homosexual men are expected to have younger sexual partners compared to heterosexual men. Neglecting to look at the upper and lower limits separately may therefore bias the and lead to wrongful conclusions. In the current study, the aim was to expand on earlier findings on sexual age preferences by investigating the age limits representing the youngest and oldest individuals that men and women could consider having sex with.

For men, we expected the oldest considered sex partners would be strongly positively associated with their own age, but that the youngest considered partners would show a weaker association with their own age. In other words, we expected men to throughout their life maintain an interest in young women while also becoming interested in older and older women. Moreover, we aimed to investigate the effects of sexual orientation on age-related sexual interest and sexual activity. In line with literature, we expected that iii sexual orientation within one sex would not be strongly associated with the age of considered partners.

As a further test of the female choice theory, we, however, also aimed to test the expectation that iv actual sexual behavior would not be as strongly associated with the age of considered partners in heterosexual men as it is in homosexual men. We also explored age preferences in bisexual men and women. Our final sample included observations from 2, individuals. Of these individuals, were male and 1, were female. All participants included in the analyses were between 18 and 50 years old see Figure 3 in Appendix for frequencies of participants across age and sex.

Data were obtained from the Finn-Kin data collection Albrecht et al. This data collection was the result of inviting a randomized sample of individuals aged 18—49 to participate in an online survey of sex and family-related topics. Invitations were sent out, obtaining addresses from the central Population Registry of Finland that keeps information about all individuals residing in Finland. Due to differences in response rates, more women than men participated in the survey.

For more details on this data collection, see Albrecht et al. Participants reported their age using a drop-down menu with answer options between 18 and 99 years of age. To categorize individuals as homosexual, bisexual, or heterosexual, we summed the responses to two variables measuring sexual behavior with or sexual interest in individuals of the same and opposite sexes. The reason to sum responses across both actual behavior and interest was that behavior is not always the result of interest.

By summing variables, both interest and behavior could be considered and given equal weight. Participants reported the age of the youngest and oldest sex partner they had during the last 5 years. We first expected the variables of interest for possible outliers. Because our data included some extreme values e. We decided to also include young teenagers to capture possible hebephilic interest.

The very low of such extreme observations would also not affect our main findings in any major way. We also removed participants who reported being older 0. Table 1. We then inspected the distribution of data across participant age. For heterosexual male and female participants, the distribution is visualized in Figure 1. Figure 1. Proportion of hetero- and bisexual males of a certain age y -axis, left panel , who could consider sex with women of a certain age x -axis, left panel ; and the proportion of hetero- and bisexual females of a certain age y -axis, right panel , who could consider sex with men of a certain age y -axis, right panel.

Red indicates high probabilities and green indicates low probabilities. The relatively larger green area on the right panel compared to the left panel in Figure 1 indicated that heterosexual female participants were, on average, more likely to not consider sex with men of certain ages than vice versa. Indeed, the probability that female participants of a certain age could consider sex with men of a certain age was below.

The probability that heterosexual male participants of a certain age could consider sex with women of a certain age was below. To investigate the associations between participant age and the age of concerning considered and actual sex partners, we conducted a set of linear regressions. Here we conducted separate regressions for the three groups of sexual orientation within both male and female participants.

All associations were positive, and all but two associations were statistically ificant see Table 2 and Figure 2. Table 2. Figure 2. Youngest and oldest considered and actual sex partners by participant age, sex, and sexual orientation. Figure 3. Participant age by sex. Red stacks represent female respondents and blue stacks represent male respondents. The age of the youngest considered sex partner increased with the age of the participant in all groups apart from homosexual male participants.

In homosexual male participants, the age of the youngest considered sex partner remained the same across the measured life span. A comparison of confidence intervals revealed that in bisexual and heterosexual male participants, the age-related incline for age of the youngest considered sex partner was steeper than in homosexual male participants. At the same time, the age-related incline in all male groups was not as steep as in the female groups.

Within female participants, there were no noteworthy differences between groups of sexual orientation. The age of the oldest considered sex partner increased with the age of the participant in all groups. Although the age-related incline differed statistically between heterosexual and bisexual male participants slightly more horizontal and heterosexual and bisexual female participants slightly more vertical , the difference was small.

No other differences were observed. For male participants, the age of the oldest considered sex partners was strongly positively associated with their own age. In the case of youngest considered partners, a weaker association with participant age was found. The age of the youngest actual sex partner also increased with the age of the participant in all groups. Although there were some small differences in the age-related incline between male and female participants, the incline was similar in all groups apart from homosexual men.

Homosexual men showed a less steep age-related incline than any other group. This suggests that among male participants, sexual behavior was most likely to reflect a preference for young partners in the homosexual group. The age-related incline for oldest actual sex partner was strong in all participant groups and no noteworthy differences were found. As a final test of female choice, we tested whether homosexual men would be more likely than heterosexual male participants to show a high correlation between the age of the youngest considered sex partner and their youngest actual sex partner.

We investigated this by first calculating the partial correlation between youngest considered sex partner and youngest actual sex partner while controlling for own age. In the current study, we investigated the youngest and oldest considered age for a sex partner and the youngest and oldest age of a recent actual sex partner. Our population-based sample of 2, individuals included both male and female participants. Participants of both sexes were grouped as heterosexual, bisexual, and homosexual. For men, however, we expected that only the oldest considered age would be strongly associated with their own age, but that the youngest considered age would show a weaker association with their own age.

In line with earlier studies, we found that the sexual age preferences change as a person ages, and that this change is different between men and women. The major difference between male and female participants related to the age of the youngest considered sex partner. In female participants, the youngest considered sex partner aged with an average of 4. In male participants this was lower and the youngest considered sex partner aged with only 2 months each year.

Due to different starting points, this means that the youngest considered age of a sex partner differed by as much as 11 years between 50 years old male and female participants. With respect to the oldest considered age of a sex partner, there were only small differences between the sexes.

Indeed, very few male participants reported having sex with individuals they would consider too old. We also investigated the effects of sexual orientation heterosexual vs. We expected homosexual and heterosexual individuals within one sex to have similar age preferences. Indeed, the age limits were very similar between groups of sexual orientation within both sexes. We also investigated whether actual sexual behavior with young partners correlated more strongly with an interest in young individuals in homosexual male participants than in heterosexual male participants.

Homosexual male participants reported a closer match between behavior and preferences than heterosexual male participants. Bisexual male and female participants reported similar preferences as heterosexual male and female participants. The current study was conducted in Finland, a modern, industrialized society high in gender equality World Economic Forum, Studies have shown that populations with high gender equality tend to be low in sexual dimorphism e.

In the current context of age preferences, this could mean that on average the difference between men and women is smaller than in other, less equal, populations. At the same time, there is evidence of women maturing earlier in more industrialized vs. This would also mean that Finnish women tend to show physical s of maturation at a relatively young age.

This could mean that Finnish men, on average, are interested in slightly younger women than men are in less industrialized and less gender equal societies. With this in mind, cross-cultural data on the development of age preferences across the life span could elucidate potential variability over different social contexts. The current study focused on sexual interest. Romantic interest or preferences for long-term partners were not measured.

This is important to consider, because reproduction in most cases occur within the stability of a long-term pair bond e. This means that the choice of a long-term partner is likely a more important evolutionary factor to consider when uncovering the selection pressure on age-related sexual preferences. A final thing to consider is that age is only one of many characteristics evaluated in a potential partner.

In fact, age is likely not very important in itself but acts as a proxy for several other important factors. These factors include, for example, remaining life span, fertility in women , health, and status. Age also affects other aspects of sexuality.

Free middle aged woman having sex

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Sexual Activity and Function in Middle-Aged and Older Women