Cougar Characteristics

Cougar Characteristics

The popular stereotype of a cougar is a heterosexual black or white unmarried girl between the many years of 35 and 55. She keeps a youthful appearance that is physical either by workout, cosmetic makeup products, surgery treatment, or a mix of these. She’s comparatively rich, or at the very least economically separate, and she expresses her sex by publicly pursuing more youthful guys for casual relationships or encounters that are sexual. She does so, she states, because she wishes somebody who both appreciates and will satisfy a intimately assertive and economically separate girl.

That label additionally shows that cougars can be trying to find enjoyable, temporary intimate liaisons. In the same time, they have been regarded as ladies who strive to match strict, ageist conceptions of feminine beauty, for example. Keeping a youthful appearance and slimness well into center age.


Sociologist Milaine Alarie compiled data on her behalf 2018 doctorate thesis in the subject of relationships defined by older females and more youthful males. She unearthed that general, and merely like in the last, women typically marry guys who will be somewhat more than these are generally. In 2016, the U.S. Census stated that females had been more than their husbands by four years or even more in just 7.9% of marriages, and also by a decade in just 1.7percent of marriages. By comparison, guys are avove the age of their spouses by four years or even more in 31.8percent of marriages, and also by ten years in 7.4per cent of marriages. Canadian statistics are comparable.

When it comes to nonpermanent relationships, nonetheless, Alarie cites A national Survey of Family Growth that found that in 2002, at the very least 13percent of females into the U.S. Ages 35 to 44 had had intercourse at least one time with a guy who had been at the least 5 years more youthful, and 5% with a person who was significantly more than ten years more youthful. A 3rd of this ladies stated they had had intercourse with a guy who had been more than these were by 5 years, and 14% at the least a decade older.

Therefore, both in marriages and relationships that are nonpermanent the trend is guys are generally over the age of their female counterparts. Though ladies are often more youthful than their partners—entering “cougar” territory—, it’s much more likely that they’ll be concerned having a more youthful guy in a relationship that is nonpermanent instead of a wedding.

Social Norms therefore the Cougar

Alarie proposes that negative reactions to cougar relationships are incredibly strong simply because they violate long-standing norms that are social. For instance, there is certainly an presumption in Western culture that guys value youth and beauty in someone, while ladies value financial security. Guys may also be grasped to own more powerful intercourse drives than females consequently they are likely to result in the contact that is first while women can be motivated to hold back passively for males to choose them. Finally, there is the proven fact that older women can be likely to be asexual. Cougar behavior turns most of these norms on the minds.

In Alarie’s qualitative research of 59 ladies who had took part in cougar relationships, outcomes revealed that females had various experiences of social norms dependent on 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 females had been how long the relationship would endure, and were less focused on if they would lose out on having kiddies or losing their lovers while they proceeded to age.

Is ‘Cougar’ a Derogatory Term?

This is regarding the term “cougar” seems to alter using the presenter. Regarding the positive part, cougars are connected with sex equality, an outgrowth for the intimate revolution, additionally the accessibility to dependable contraceptives, which may have offered women more freedom when choosing somebody. Also, they are a reflection that is explicit sex is certainly not fundamentally associated with childbearing. More over, a rise in status, training, and income ensures that a girl can establish by by by herself since the more effective celebration in a relationship (should an unequal power dynamic be desired by both lovers).

Nonetheless, there 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 referred to as “desperately aggressive” or “desperately clinging to youth. ” Studies show that ladies generally believe such behavior is fundamentally dangerous when it comes to males, on their own, or both. Cougars are noticed as predators of unwary males or victims regarding the imperative that is cultural find value inside their looks.

Advantages and Drawbacks

There are many and varied reasons why ladies might elect to enter relationships that provide them the “cougar” label. She may be less inclined to need certainly to sooner or later support her partner (actually or emotionally) within their years that are final his wellness decreases, but prefer to be looked after by herself. Ladies nevertheless do real time longer than males, therefore it might be a choice that is rational pick a more youthful partner. Females additionally state that more youthful guys appreciate their financial independency, their libido, and their freedom from stereotypes.

Nevertheless the disadvantages are serious: there clearly was a stigma that is social and males are frequently forced by their friends and family members to get some body more youthful. In a cougar relationship, ladies are not very likely to desire (more) young ones whenever their partner does, even though a lot of men state that their partner’s greater earnings is an advantage, a bit of research implies that also can trigger conflict.

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