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You appear to have done this very well in that you have both accepted and taken on the responsibilities of the unasked-for fatherhood and you have sought to get support for yourself both professionally and personally. However, the issue of consent is the message you are conveying to others in telling your story and it highlights the need for discussion about consent across the board. We are beginning to speak about consent in the sexual arena, but your experience takes it to another level and it demonstrates the huge ramifications of our lack of deliberation around this topic.

Well done on sharing your story and I hope this generates debate, deliberation and analysis on the topic of consent. Why I love.

How to Pick Up Older Women - 7 Easy Steps to Attract Her

Our bodies react to prolonged physical activity by burning fewer — not more — calories, according to a surprising new study. After three miscarriages and IVF, we had almost given up. Then along came Theo.

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A study found a threshold for reducing the risk of premature death is 4, steps per day. An unexpected encounter led to a lifelong passion for yoga — and a new festival. Tell me about it: I feel my son would benefit from male guidance around issues such as pornography but his father has opted out. We use cookies to personalise content, target and report on ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. For more information see our Cookie Policy.

What Does It Mean When a Woman Is Called a Cougar?

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The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment. You should receive instructions for resetting your password. Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards. Screen Name Selection. Only letters, numbers, periods and hyphens are allowed in screen names. Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password. She does so, she says, because she wants a partner who appreciates and can satisfy a sexually assertive and financially independent woman.

That stereotype also suggests that cougars are commonly looking for fun, temporary sexual liaisons. At the same time, they are perceived as women who strive to correspond to strict, ageist conceptions of female beauty—maintaining a youthful appearance and slimness well into middle age. Sociologist Milaine Alarie compiled statistics for her Ph. She found that overall, and just as in the past, women typically marry men who are slightly older than they are. In , the U. Census reported that women were older than their husbands by four years or more in only 7. By contrast, men are older than their wives by four years or more in Canadian statistics are similar.

The statistics also show that the majority of the women in such permanent relationships are generally low-income, not well educated, and select "other" rather than black or white as a racial designation. Statistics about longevity from these sources are mixed: divorces between couples with age gaps, whoever is the older, are more common than in couples with similar ages. Also, these documented relationships were not flings; most had lasted at least two years.

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In terms of nonpermanent relationships, however, Alarie cites a National Survey of Family Growth finding that, in , at least 13 percent of women in the U. A third of the women said they had had sex with a man who was older than they were by five years, and 14 percent at least 10 years older.

The meaning of the term "cougar" seems to vary with the speaker. On the positive side, cougars are associated with gender equality, an outgrowth of the sexual revolution, and the availability of reliable contraceptives, which have given women more freedom when choosing a partner. They are also an explicit reflection that sexuality is not necessarily connected with childbearing. Moreover, an increase in status, education, and income mean that women can enter into relationships with younger men since these women are no longer financially dependent on partners.

However, there is a considerable negative undertone prevalent in the media, particularly on internet sites such as Askmen. The cougars are seen as predators of unwary men, or victims of the cultural imperative to find value in their physical appearance. There are many reasons why women might choose to enter into such relationships on a more or less permanent basis. A woman might choose a younger man as a partner because she is less likely to have to eventually support her spouse physically or emotionally in their final years as his health declines, but rather be cared for herself.


Women still do live longer than men, so it may be a rational choice to select a younger partner. Women also say that younger men do appreciate their financial independence, their interest in sex, and their freedom from stereotypes. But the drawbacks are severe: there is a social stigma, and men are often pressured by their friends and family to find someone younger. Women are not likely to want more children when their partner does, and while many men say that their partner's higher income is a benefit, some research shows that can lead to conflict.

Why those reactions are so strong, says Alarie, is that cougars violate long-term social norms. One assumption in Western culture is that men value youth and beauty, while women value financial stability. Men have stronger sex drives than women, so these assumptions go, and are expected to make the first contact, while women are encouraged to wait passively for men to choose them. Further, women are constrained to reactive behaviors, by refusing or accepting a man's romantic approaches. In addition, by their late 20s, single women are often pressured to take on the roles of wives and mothers.

On the other hand, older women are expected to be asexual, or their sexual desires are presented in a humorous way. Interestingly, in Alarie's qualitative study of 59 women who had participated in such relationships, she found that, by and large, the women had conformed to the social norm stereotype.

They reported playing a rather passive role in the formation process, with the younger man taking the lead. Several mentioned that they struggled with the importance or impossibility of keeping to the youthful appearance cultural norm and how that impacted their relationship. Her results showed that, depending on their age, women differed with regards to their experiences in cougar relationships.

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  • Older women were less likely to be affected by the social discourse about cougar relationships, were less preoccupied than younger women were about how long the relationship would last, and were less worried about whether they would miss out on having children or losing their partners as they continued to age. Share Flipboard Email. Government U. Foreign Policy U.