The princess and the shiv
Whether they are senior citizens, middle-aged fathers or barely able to drink legally, all men are inherently attracted to young women who are in their early 20s.
In his book Dataclysm: Love, Sex, Race, and Identity - What Our Online Lives Tell Us About Our Offline Selves, author and OKCupid co-founder Christian Rudder used the data preferences found on his dating site to determine that men find women between the ages of 20 and 24 most attractive - no matter how old they get.
After [a man] hits thirty, the latter half of [OKCupid's] age range (that is, women over 35) might as well not exist,' Christian explained in an excerpt of his book, which was shared on Jezebel.
'Younger is better, and youngest is best of all, and if “over the hill” means the beginning of a person’s decline, a straight woman is over the hill as soon as she’s old enough to drink,' he noted.
A majority of the groups of men between the ages of 20 and 50 prefer women to be 20, while 21 was the next highest reported age.
And only one age group, 45, chose 24, the highest age reported, as the one that looks best to them.
Meanwhile, Christian found that women want a 'guy to be roughly as old as she is'.
'This isn’t survey data, this is data built from tens of millions of preferences expressed in the act of finding a date,' he said.
According to his research, women like men to be slightly older than them until they hit their 30s. Then they become interested in men who are their own age or slightly younger.
By their 40s, women are most attracted to men who are two to eight years younger than they are.
But an eight year age difference is nothing compared to the 28-year age gap between 50-year-old men who think 22-year-old women are ideal.
'Another way to put this focus on youth is that males’ expectations never grow up,' Christian wrote. 'A 50-year-old man’s idea of what’s hot is roughly the same as a college kid’s.'