You can see that men are basically operating by the rule for minimum age preferences for marital relationships (blue bars) and serious dating relationships (yellow bars).
Those age preferences consistently hover around the values denoted by the rule (the black line).
If anything, in practice men are than the rule would designate appropriate.
For example, this sample of 60-year-old men report that it is acceptable to fantasize about women in their 20s, which the rule would say is unacceptable.
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What is the acceptable minimum age for your own (and others’) dating partners?
Instead, men report maximum acceptable partner ages that hover around their own age through their 40s.
After 40, maximum age preferences for most categories remain lower than their own age.
This rules states that by dividing your own age by two and then adding seven you can find the age boundary: Take your age, subtract 7, and double it.
The rule’s calculated minimum acceptable partner ages seem to fit men better than women.
Women’s preferred maximum partner age: Examining maximum preferences, again the rule is more lenient, offering an age range with which most people are not comfortable.
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 2.
Figure 2 clearly shows that the rule’s max-age guidelines for men do reflect real-world preferences.