Cougar Characteristics

The popular label of the cougar is a heterosexual black or white unmarried girl between the ages of 35 and 55. She keeps a youthful appearance, either by workout, cosmetic makeup products, plastic surgery, or a mix of these. She actually is 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 that can satisfy a intimately assertive and woman that is financially independent.

That stereotype additionally implies that cougars are generally in search of enjoyable, short-term liaisons that are sexual. During the same time, they have been 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 statistics on her behalf 2018 doctorate thesis on the topic of relationships defined by older ladies and more youthful males. She discovered that general, and simply like in days gone by, females typically marry guys who will be slightly more than they have been. In 2016, the U.S. Census stated that women had been over the age of their husbands by four years or higher in mere 7.9% of marriages, and also by ten years in mere 1.7percent of marriages. In comparison, guys are over 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.

When it comes to nonpermanent relationships, nonetheless, Alarie cites A national Survey of Family Growth that unearthed that in 2002, at the least 13percent of females within the U.S. Ages 35 to 44 had had sex one or more times with a person who was simply at the least 5 years more youthful, and 5% with a person who was significantly more than decade more youthful. A 3rd for the females stated they had had intercourse with a guy who was simply avove the age of they certainly were by 5 years, and 14% at the very least ten years older.

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

Social Norms and also the Cougar

Alarie proposes that negative reactions to cougar relationships are incredibly strong simply because they violate long-standing social norms. As an example, there is certainly an presumption in Western tradition that men value youth and beauty in somebody, while ladies value financial security. Guys will also be grasped to possess more powerful sex drives than females consequently they are likely to result in the contact that is first while ladies are motivated to hold back passively for guys to decide on them. Finally, there is the basic indisputable fact that older ladies are likely to be asexual. Cougar behavior turns many of these norms on the heads.

In Alarie’s qualitative research of 59 ladies who had took part in cougar relationships, outcomes indicated that females had different experiences of social norms according to what their age is. For instance, older ladies had been less inclined to be impacted by the social discourse about cougar relationships, had been less preoccupied than more youthful ladies had been on how long the relationship would grizzly dating app last, 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?

This is regarding the term “cougar” seems to alter with all the presenter. Regarding the good part, cougars are connected with gender equality, an outgrowth of this intimate revolution, additionally the availability of reliable contraceptives, that have provided females more freedom when choosing someone. They are a reflection that is explicit sexuality is certainly not fundamentally linked to childbearing. Furthermore, a rise in status, training, and income ensures that a girl can establish by herself due to the fact more party that is powerful a relationship (should an unequal power dynamic be desired by both lovers).

Nevertheless, there was a large undertone that is negative within the news, specially on web sites such as for instance and Urban Dictionary, where cougars in many cases are called “desperately aggressive” or “desperately clinging to youth. ” Studies reveal that women generally believe that such behavior is eventually dangerous for the guys, by themselves, or both. Cougars are noticed as predators of unwary guys or victims of this cultural vital to find value within their looks.

Advantages and Drawbacks

There are multiple reasons why ladies might elect to get into relationships that provide them the “cougar” label. She may be less likely to want to need to fundamentally support her partner (actually or emotionally) within their final years as their wellness declines, but prefer to be looked after by by herself. Ladies still do real time longer than guys, so that it could be a choice that is rational pick a more youthful partner. Females additionally state that younger guys appreciate their financial liberty, their need for sex, and their freedom from stereotypes.

Nevertheless the disadvantages are serious: there is certainly a stigma that is social and males are often forced by their buddies and family members to get somebody more youthful. In a cougar relationship, women can be not very likely to desire (more) kids whenever their partner does, and even though a lot of men state that their partner’s higher earnings is an advantage, a bit of research suggests that also can cause conflict.

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