Does the rule work for women? The rule states that you can calculate maximum acceptable partner ages by subtracting seven from your own age and multiplying it by 2. But fantasies, of course, are not generally subject to public scrutiny and the rule is only designed to calculate what is socially acceptable in the public eye—so this discrepancy is not necessarily a failure of the rule. Researchers Buunk and colleagues asked men and women to identify the ages they would consider when evaluating someone for relationships of different levels of involvement. In a world in which many social norms are often unspoken, the half-your-age-plus-7 rule concretely defines a boundary. By the time of their separation in , however, Kutcher, then 33 had crossed the minimum threshold Does it match our scientific understanding of age-related preferences for dating? Evolution and Human Behavior, 22, Below are the data from Buunk et al. He approached the line with two other partners, but is well within the threshold in his marriage with Amal Alamuddin.
For example, this sample of year-old men report that it is acceptable to fantasize about women in their 20s, which the rule would say is unacceptable. Curious outsiders are quick to judge when they can see a wide age gap between two romantic partners. The minimum rule half-your-age-plus-seven seems to work for men, although the maximum rule falls short, failing to reflect empirical age-related preferences. The rule overestimates the perceived acceptability of men becoming involved with older women. Maybe this is why the rule is so appealing. Take your age, subtract 7, and double it. For rule-related involvement e. Male Participants' Minimum Preferred Partner Age as Compared to the Rule When it comes to sexual fantasies, however, men have minimum age preferences that are younger than the rule would designate appropriate. He approached the line with two other partners, but is well within the threshold in his marriage with Amal Alamuddin. Thus the rule for maximum ages is fairly ineffective at capturing what men actually believe is acceptable. Evolution and Human Behavior, 22, Below are the data from Buunk et al. But how legitimate is this rule? But the rule does not map perfectly onto actual reports of what is socially acceptable. Instead, men report maximum acceptable partner ages that hover around their own age through their 40s. Does the rule work for women? The rule states that it is acceptable for year old women to date men who are up to 46 years old, but in actuality, year-old women state that their max acceptable partner age would be less than 40 around Based on the figures Buunk and colleagues provided and thus the numbers are only informed approximations , I replotted their data superimposing the max and min age ranges defined by the half-your-age-plus-7 rule. In a world in which many social norms are often unspoken, the half-your-age-plus-7 rule concretely defines a boundary. Does it always apply? Women in their 40s think that approximately 35 or older is acceptable for marriage or a relationship. You can see that men are basically operating by the rule for minimum age preferences for marital relationships blue bars and serious dating relationships yellow bars. Examining maximum preferences, again the rule is more lenient, offering an age range with which most people are not comfortable. Does it match our scientific understanding of age-related preferences for dating? How effective is the rule? This rules states that by dividing your own age by two and then adding seven you can find the socially-acceptable minimum age of anyone you want to date.
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