Cougar dating psychology
Age disparity in extreme cases may be seen as dysfunctional (a paraphilia) if such relationships are pursued to the exclusion of all others and to the detriment of the partners.
The term alphamegamia can be used when a person is sexually aroused by partners of a different age group, and "chronophilia" can describe a sexual fixation on members of a different age group.
Sultans from the Middle-East maintained entire harems of much younger women.
Other historical examples include John Rolfe and Pocahontas, and Laura Ingalls Wilder and Almanzo Wilder (both ten-year differences) in America; William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway (eight-year difference) in England; and Mohammed, the prophet of Islam, was 15 years younger than his first wife Khadija.
Younger partners may be searching for someone who is their superior, either socially or financially more secure, or to provide critical life guidance.
Finally, younger partners may see their relationship with an older person as a way of increasing their status within their society.
Widely-varying age of consent laws have been passed to deter adults from entering sexual relationships with underage minors.
There is also the issue of whether all age-disparate relationships fall under the definition of paraphilia.
The United States Census Bureau's March 2000 statistics show that only 800,000 unmarried American couples are more than five years divergent in age, and 7 in 100 of women who have married more than once have a husband six or more years younger than they.
This may be brought about as an arranged marriage, or either member may pursue and initiate the relationship in those societies that favor freer association.
Situations involving a younger male with an older female also exist, but are not as common.
Many psychologists study the phenomenon of age disparity, and have observed certain extremes of the above referenced behavior.
They have coined a number of terms to describe various types of psychological preferences : Of these, pedophilia has attracted a great deal of attention in the western media, especially since popular use has merged the concept of ephebophilia with that of pedophilia, which has become known as attraction to any individual considered too young to consent to sexual relations.