Cougar Characteristics

Cougar Characteristics

The popular stereotype of a cougar is just a heterosexual black or white woman that is unmarried the many years of 35 and 55. She keeps a youthful looks, either by workout, cosmetic makeup products, surgery treatment, or a mixture of these. She’s comparatively rich, or at the very least economically separate, and she expresses her sex by publicly pursuing more youthful males for casual relationships or intimate encounters. She does therefore, she states, because she wishes somebody whom both appreciates and certainly will satisfy an intimately assertive and woman that is financially independent.

That label additionally shows that cougars can be trying to find fun, short-term intimate liaisons. During the time that is same they truly are regarded as ladies who attempt to match strict, ageist conceptions of feminine beauty, in other words. Keeping a youthful appearance and slimness well into center age.


Sociologist Milaine Alarie compiled data on her behalf 2018 doctorate thesis in the topic of relationships defined by older females and more youthful males. She discovered that overall, and simply like in the last, females typically marry males that are somewhat over the age of they’ve been. In 2016, the U.S. Census stated that females were over the age of their husbands by four years or even more in mere 7.9% of marriages, and also by ten years in mere 1.7percent of marriages. By comparison, guys are avove the age of their spouses by four years or even more in 31.8per cent of marriages, and also by a decade in 7.4per cent of marriages. Canadian data are comparable.

With regards to nonpermanent relationships, nonetheless, Alarie cites A national Survey of Family Growth that unearthed that in 2002, at the very least 13percent of females into the U.S. Many years 35 to 44 had had intercourse one or more times with a person who was simply at the very least 5 years more youthful, and 5% with a guy who was significantly more than decade more youthful. A 3rd associated with the females stated they had had intercourse with a guy who was simply over the age of these were by 5 years, and 14% at the least a decade older.

Hence, both in marriages and nonpermanent relationships, the trend is guys are typically avove the age of their feminine counterparts. Though women can be often more youthful than their partners—entering “cougar” territory—, it really is much more likely that they can be concerned having a more youthful guy in a nonpermanent relationship, instead of a wedding.

Social Norms and also the Cougar

Alarie proposes that negative reactions to cougar relationships are incredibly strong since they violate long-standing norms that are social. As an example, there was a presumption in Western tradition that guys value youth and beauty in somebody, while ladies value financial security. Guys will also be comprehended to possess more powerful intercourse drives than ladies and are also anticipated to result in the contact that is first while women are motivated to hold back passively for guys to select them. Finally, there is the basic indisputable fact that older women can be likely to be asexual. Cougar behavior turns each one of these norms to their minds.

In Alarie’s qualitative research of 59 ladies who had took part in cougar relationships, outcomes indicated that ladies had various experiences of social norms according to what their age is. As an example, older females had been less likely to want to be afflicted with the social discourse about cougar relationships, had been less preoccupied than more youthful ladies had been on how long the relationship would endure, and were less focused on if they would lose out on having kids or losing their partners while they proceeded to age.

Is ‘Cougar’ a Derogatory Term?

This is regarding the term “cougar” seems to alter utilizing the presenter. An outgrowth of the sexual revolution, and the availability of reliable contraceptives, which have given women more freedom when choosing a partner on the positive side, cougars are associated with gender equality. They are an explicit expression that sex isn’t fundamentally linked to childbearing. Furthermore, a rise in status, training, and income ensures that a lady can establish by herself due to the fact more powerful celebration in a relationship (should an unequal power dynamic be desired by both lovers).

Nevertheless, there was a large undertone that is negative when you look at the news, specially on web sites such as for instance and Urban Dictionary, where cougars tend to be referred to as “desperately aggressive” or “desperately clinging to youth. ” Studies reveal that ladies generally believe that such behavior is fundamentally dangerous for the males, themselves, or both. Cougars are noticed as predators of unwary males or victims associated with imperative that is cultural find value inside their looks.

Advantages and Drawbacks

There are many and varied reasons why ladies might decide to get into relationships that provide them the “cougar” label. She may be less inclined to need to ultimately support her spouse (actually or emotionally) within their years that are final their wellness decreases, but prefer to be maintained by by herself. Females nevertheless do real time longer than guys, therefore it could be a choice that is rational choose a more youthful partner. Ladies additionally state that more youthful guys appreciate their financial liberty, their libido, and their freedom from stereotypes.

However the downsides are severe: there is certainly a stigma that is social and males are often pressured by their buddies and household to locate some body more youthful. Some research shows that can also lead to conflict in a cougar relationship, 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.

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