Children dating too young
Men do not show a linear increase in maximum age preference that matches the rule’s predictions.Instead, men report maximum acceptable partner ages that hover around their own age through their 40s.He approached the line with two other partners but is well within the threshold in his marriage with Amal Alamuddin. 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.How well does the rule capture women’s preferences?For rule-related involvement (relationships), 60-year-old men are stating that the minimum acceptable age is around 40, which does map much more closely to the rule’s predictions.Men’s preferred partner age: The rule states that you can calculate maximum acceptable partner ages by subtracting seven from your own age and multiplying it by two.By the time of their separation in 2011, however, Kutcher, then 33 had crossed the minimum threshold (31.5) defined by the rule. Curious outsiders are quick to judge when they can see a wide age gap between two romantic partners. In a world in which many social norms are often unspoken, the half-your-age-plus-7 rule concretely defines a boundary.
The rule states that it is acceptable for 30-year old women to date men who are up to 46 years old, but in reality, 30-year-old women state that their max acceptable partner age would be less than 40 (around 37).
The rule underestimates women’s reported preferences in their 20s, but the gap between reports of what is socially acceptable and the rule itself widens over time. Let’s take a look at Demi Moore, who at times has been criticized for dating men who differ substantially from her own age.
As you can see from the graph, one partner exceeded the rule’s calculated acceptable maximum age, while Ashton Kutcher’s age fell short of the socially acceptable minimum age when they first started dating in 2003.
Figure 2 clearly shows that the rule’s max-age guidelines for men do reflect real-world preferences.
The rule overestimates the perceived acceptability of men becoming involved with older women.