Cougar Characteristics

Cougar Characteristics

The popular label of a cougar is just a heterosexual black or white unmarried girl between the many years of 35 and 55. She keeps a youthful appearance, either by workout, cosmetic makeup products, surgery treatment, or a mix of these. She actually is comparatively rich, or at the least financially separate, and she expresses her sex by publicly pursuing more youthful guys for casual relationships or encounters that are sexual. She does therefore, she states, because she wants somebody whom both appreciates and certainly will satisfy an intimately assertive and woman that is financially independent.

That label additionally shows that cougars are generally trying to find enjoyable, short-term liaisons that are sexual. During the time that is same these are typically regarded as ladies who make an effort to match strict, ageist conceptions of feminine beauty, in other terms. Keeping a youthful appearance and slimness well into center age.


Sociologist Milaine Alarie compiled data on her 2018 doctorate thesis in the topic of relationships defined by older ladies and more youthful males. She discovered that general, and simply like in yesteryear, females typically marry males that are somewhat more than they have been. In 2016, the U.S. Census stated that females were avove the age of their husbands by four years or higher in just 7.9% of marriages, and also by a decade in mere 1.7percent of marriages . In comparison, guys are over the age of their wives 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 least 13percent of females when you look at the U.S. Many years 35 to 44 had had sex one or more times with a person who was at the very least 5 years more youthful, and 5% with a person who was a lot more than 10 years more youthful. A 3rd for the ladies 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 ten years older.

Hence, both in marriages and relationships that are nonpermanent the trend is the fact that guys are typically more than their feminine counterparts. Though ladies are often more youthful than their partners—entering “cougar” territory—, it really is much more likely that they can be concerned by having a more youthful man in a relationship that is nonpermanent as opposed to a married relationship.

Social Norms together with Cougar

Alarie proposes that negative reactions to cougar relationships are incredibly strong since they violate long-standing social norms. For instance, there is certainly a presumption in Western tradition that males value youth and beauty in someone, while ladies value financial security. Guys will also be comprehended to possess more powerful intercourse drives than females and so are anticipated to result in the contact that is first while ladies are motivated to wait patiently passively for guys to decide on them. Finally, there is the indisputable fact that older women can be anticipated to be asexual. Cougar behavior turns most of these norms on the minds.

In Alarie’s qualitative research of 59 women that had took part in cougar relationships, outcomes revealed that ladies had various experiences of social norms according to how old they are. For instance, older ladies had been less inclined 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 as they continued to age whether they would miss out on having children or losing their partners.

Is ‘Cougar’ a Derogatory Term?

The meaning for the term “cougar” seems to alter because of 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 representation that sex just isn’t always linked to childbearing. More over, a rise in status, training, and income ensures that a female can establish by herself since the more effective celebration in a relationship (should an unequal power dynamic be desired by both lovers).

Nevertheless, there clearly was a considerable negative undertone commonplace into the news, specially on web sites such as for instance and Urban Dictionary, where cougars tend to be called “desperately aggressive” or “desperately clinging to youth. ” Studies reveal that ladies generally believe such behavior is fundamentally dangerous for the males, on their own, or both. Cougars are noticed as predators of unwary guys or victims associated with social crucial to find value within their looks.

Advantages and Drawbacks

There are many and varied reasons why ladies might elect to come into relationships giving them the “cougar” label. She may be less inclined to need to ultimately support her spouse (actually or emotionally) inside their years that are final his wellness decreases, but prefer to be taken care of by herself. Ladies nevertheless do real time longer than men, so that it can be a choice that is rational pick a more youthful partner. Females additionally state that younger guys appreciate their independence that is financial need for sex, and their freedom from stereotypes.

Nevertheless the downsides are serious: there clearly was a social stigma, and guys are usually forced by people they know 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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