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Skentelbery and Fowler therefore sought to compare AGR women with those in SARs (same-age relationships).

Because these relationships are more prevalent when they involve older men and younger women, the authors didn’t perform an analogous study of “mommy figures." If it’s true that younger women in AGRs are seeking father figures, then it would be expected that they would have maladaptive relationships with their fathers which play out in adulthood by their choice of a mate. Mary's researchers used to test this proposition is attachment theory.

Whether it’s the new dad George Clooney (56) and his 18-year-younger wife, Amal, or Donald Trump (70) and his First Lady, Melania (age 47), commentators become psychoanalysts, suggesting that the younger woman is clearly seeking a father figure.

Similar stories are triggered by the (much less-common) pairing of a younger man with an older woman, as with 39-year-old French president Emmanuel Macron, and his wife, Brigitte, 64.

The sociocultural perspective for understanding the pairing of older men and younger women explains not just that younger women seem physically more attractive to aging males, but that the older man represents socially valued attributes that lead his younger partner to to bond with him.

With age, men may acquire greater power or possess more property, financial and otherwise.

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