Arguing with Biology

Stumbled across this story a little while ago: Why are older men looking at women half their age?

Ah yes… yet another variation of the age-old lament of the older woman: “where have all the good men gone?“.

The first mistake that I noticed was in the headline: “Why are older men looking at women half their age?” The brutal truth here is that it’s not just older men, it’s *all* men. The following pair of graphs (compiled by OKCupid) show that while women are generally interested in men about their own age…

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…men, irrespective of age, are fixated on women in the 20-24 age range – from the adolescent whose hormones just dropped to the ninety-six-year-old geezer wheezing out his last breaths on his deathbed.

Data_9780385347372_3p_all_r1.j.indd

Blindingly Obvious Fact #1: Mother Nature gives most girls *awesome* power over men at about the age of sixteen. However, Father Time takes away that power about twelve years later, presumably in an attempt to preserve balance in the universe.

Blindingly Obvious Fact #2: Men mature later than women. The following graph (source) shows that while the attractiveness of women peaks between about 16 and 28, men peak much later, and keep their attractiveness into their fifties, as long as they keep themselves in good physical shape. This may also explain why some women who were uninterested in marriage suddenly become desperate for a husband at around the “magical” age of 30.

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This is because a man’s attractiveness has less to do with his looks and more to do with power – confidence, competence, charisma, and the ability to provide, protect and determine his own destiny, while a woman’s is mostly physical (“I can bear you many fine sons!”), as the multi-billion-dollar cosmetics, fashion, cosmetic surgery and other “turn-back-the-clock” industries can attest.

So when a woman over 40 gazes longingly at a “Silver Fox”, she is deliberately ignoring the fact that he is in his prime, while she is past hers. One money quote from the article says it all:

Another said I sounded nice, but added: “Though unfortunately I have stringent physical criteria.”

Translation: “I can do better. And by better, I mean younger, hotter and tighter than you“. That is the voice of a man with options. And she wonders why he isn’t interested. As the old saw goes: “Men age like wine, women age like milk.”.

Blindingly Obvious Fact #3: Women do not get to determine what men should find attractive: Take a look at this quote from the article:

“I bet you were gorgeous when you were young,” I was told recently, via message, like that was supposed to be a compliment. Yes, I was gorgeous, ish, for a while, and self-absorbed, and shallow, and inexperienced, and over-sensitive and dull. You’re right, mate, you’d have much preferred me then.

The elephant in the room – and the slingshot that brings down her argument – is that a man who marries a young woman gets to enjoy the obvious benefits of her youth, and then look forward to her growing out of her “shallowness”. He can have the best of both worlds, while she, with her youth well and truly behind her, offers only one. Sounds like a bad case of sour grapes to me.

The author has committed the sin of projection on several fronts: She has made the assumption that his definition of “gorgeous” is the same as hers. She is mistaken. She assumes that because she is older and more mature that she is somehow more worthy of his attention. She is mistaken. She then gets upset by the implication that she was more attractive when she was younger. Women will howl and yowl and try to shame men for looking at younger women but one of the fellows said it better than I ever could:

“These are just facts. Men like youth. They like long hair. They like colour. They like slender, as well. Sorry. You’re going to have to lose weight and grow your hair and wear red if you want the silver foxes to see you.”

Her reply is telling: “The question is, should I be prepared to change?”

The answer is equally telling: Lady, we don’t care. Men want what they want. You get to decide whether or not to show up. The awful delusion here is that women believe that maturity and experience make them more attractive to men. This is absolutely untrue – unless they are shared experiences.

Blindingly Obvious Fact #4: Beauty equals Fertility plus Love. A man’s perception of beauty in a woman is based on two factors: her physical attractiveness (which peaks between the ages of 16 and 28), and the history and experiences they have shared together. The best approach is therefore for a woman to marry young and give her husband the benefit of her looks and her youth. Then, as she matures, he gets the benefit of that maturity and wisdom. To the man who has savored and enjoyed his wife’s youth and beauty, she will be forever young in his eyes.

So… let’s answer the million-dollar question: Why are older men looking at women half their age? Because they can.

Here’s the counter-question: Why should a never-married or divorced woman who has hit the wall think she deserves a Silver Fox who can clearly do better? She doesn’t.

The bottom line: Ladies, don’t wait. Use the power while you have it, and use it wisely. For once it’s gone, it’s gone.

And then you will be reduced to writing plaintive screeds arguing with biology.

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  • […] Men, on the other hand, tend to bloom later. The jocks bloom in their twenties, and the geeks – like yours truly – bloom in their thirties. So for them, 40 is the sweet spot in the middle of “The Zone” (for women, this occurs at about age 22-24). You can argue about this if you want, but this is not the place for it – I have blogged about it before. […]

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