Valley Girl With a Brain

Questioning, like, everything

Becoming the Older Woman

Evolution hates older women

I love being young. I think all women do.

On a conscious level, we recognize that it is only during our youth when people take care of us, coddle us, provide us with food, water and shelter. It's the only time in our lives when we can be completely selfish, eschew responsibility, yet still be adored.

Evolutionarily speaking, youth also represents the prime time for being "beautiful" and ripe for mating. Film, television, and nearly every commercial or advertisement seem to promote this way of life with the faces and nearly naked bodies of gorgeous model-actresses in their 20s all beckoning to the masses that youth is the only time for happiness.

Stifler's mom
Even Franz Kafka said, "Youth is happy because it has the ability to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old."

But what happens when we're nearing 30-- and the dewy skin we used to see in the mirror has now been supplanted by wrinkles and sunspots? I suppose we can still recognize beauty, just no longer in ourselves. What happens then?

Well, my friends, we become the older woman-- a Mrs. Robinson/Stifler's mom type who seduces young men with her certified pre-owned old lady parts. Who was there when Kennedy was assassinated, maybe, Lincoln too. She oozes a senusal maturity in her cellulite-- she no longer gets carded for anything. In fact, she used to babysit the bouncer. At the bar, she drinks whiskey, straight up.

This is every male's fantasy, right?

In his book, Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters, PT blogger and psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa writes, not so much.

"Data collected from societies throughout the world show that men in every single culture prefer to mate with younger women, and women prefer to mate with older men."

The reasons are obvious and ingrained in our stagnant human evolution, known as the Savannah Principle. Developed and researched by Kanazawa, this principle asserts that the human brain has experienced little or no change in the last 30,000 years. In other words, men are essentially still cavemen. This can sometimes be troubling for the modern world, because some innately programmed behaviors are not applicable in today's society.

"For instance, humans feel urges when confronted with high-calorie foods, but given contemporary conditions one ought to overcome the human bias towards sweets and fats."

In social relatoinships, men have always preferred younger women because they are more fertile, while females have always sought out older men because they possess greater resources and higher status.Kanazawa continues,

"The older men get, the greater the age difference between them and their desirable mates. Men in their twenties want women who are bout five years younger than them...men in their fifties want women who are about fifteen years younger."

The only time men actually want to date older women is when they are teenagers. For them, the older woman represents the more fertile partner. Remember when 16-year-old Justin Bieber confessed that he would be open to dating women forty and under, as long as they were funny, had nice eyes and a smile? A classic case of evolution.

What this discussion essentially boils down to is: regardless of their own age, men will always prefer to have sex with women in their twenties. Nicholas Cage, Woody Allen and Michael Douglas are all proponents of this philosophy.

But the old-fart-to-hot-young-chick attraction isn't just about lack of stretch marks. According to a recent sex research study, males older than 50 years old have "substantial realized fertility through matings with younger females, a pattern that was likely typical among early humans." In fact, "older male fertility helps to select against damaging cell mutations in humans who have passed the age of female menopause."

Old man sperm can actually be better for the human race, but what about old chicks?

Apparently, our sex appeal (and consequently our libidos) gets hijacked by Mother Nature when we have lived our 10,950th day?

So what's an (aging) girl to do to stay alive in the dating game?

Kanazawa offers one suggestion in his book. Sure, we can't change our genetic hardwiring. Men and women alike will always desire pretty young things-- but technological advances allow us to preserve the mirage of youth for a little bit longer than biology intended.  The answer is: Demi Moore.

"Through face-lifts, wigs, liposuction, surgical breast augmentation, hair dye, and color contact lenses, any woman-regardless of age-can have many of the key features that define the ideal female beauty."

You may think that men won't be fooled by these quick aesthetic fixes, but look how long Ashton's been punk'd.

Again, we have the Savanna Principle to thank for this loophole. Kanazawa writes, men's "brains cannot really comprehend silicone breasts or blond hair dye, because these things did not exist in the ancestral environment ten thousand years ago."

While guys do, on some level, recognize that Pamela Anderson is no longer 20, they still wouldn't mind boning her, because the modern mechanisms she uses to enhance her looks didn't exist when libidos were first invented.

40 or 20: those things have always been huge
Another option for aging ladies still looking for love is to pack up your bags and move to Cougar Town.

According to Dr. Fayr Barkley, the cougar lifestyle has become more popular and enticing for older women.

She writes:

"Cougar women are actually much more selective about their younger man and this means that the younger men have to have more to bring to the party than just a raging libido. The younger men are driving this trend. There are more younger men looking for older women than there are older women looking for younger men. So, it's ladies' choice."

And younger men really are driving up the demand for cougars. Barkely continues,

"The younger men who are inclined to date older women tell me that women their age are boring, manipulative, game playing, self centered, and shallow. They are attracted to the depth, maturity and spirit of the older woman."

So some men like women on who they can depend, who also wear Depends. Makes sense?

Even though I have occasionally dabbled with dating the younger guy (at most a year younger than me), I have always felt so much older, wiser and experienced in these relationships. Usually, because I am. A lot can happen in those seven months I was alive and you were not.

In my ripe old age, I have some thoughts of wisdom for women who dread growing older: Hide your driver's licenses. Rest assure that Megan Fox will also get old one day. And if you're Asian, like me, thank your parents for giving you fountain-of-youth-genetics that still make you look 20.

Follow me on Twitter! ThisJenKim

Jen Kim is a former Psychology Today intern and a graduate of Northwestern University.

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