Evolutionary psychology and biological factors can influence relationship dynamics. A 2021 study published in Sexuality & Culture suggests that women who prefer dating younger men may do so because of their quest for optimal genetic fitness, vitality, and fertility. According to the study, women’s preferences in mates have evolved to prioritize characteristics that enhance reproductive success. Younger partners may have higher reproductive likeliness, aligning with the subconscious biological imperative to select mates with the highest potential for successful reproduction.
A research report published in Biological Psychology in 2020 highlighted that hormonal changes in women as they age can play a vital role in shaping their attraction towards a partner. Younger men typically have higher levels of testosterone, which are associated with increased energy, muscle mass, and overall vitality, as well as a higher sperm count and better sperm motility, contributing to their fertility. They often experience better overall health, increased stamina, and a more robust immune system, contributing to an overall sense of vitality.
In addition, pheromones — the chemical messengers of attraction — may also contribute to forming connections that go against conventional age standards. A report in Hormones and Behavior noted pheromones can alter human moods, and women tend to be more relaxed around men who produce androstadiene, a hormone that comes from testosterone. Younger men naturally have more testosterone than older men, which could affect pheromones.