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Some older partners may seek the connection with the culture of youth, maintaining a connection with the fashion, the music, the media which their age group has ostensibly outgrown.They view the generation gap as an obstacle to overcome, especially if they feel they have "missed out".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.Men in positions of prestige or power have often taken young women as lovers or wives.Similarly, women of influence have also initiated relationships with younger men.In keeping with modern American mores, a folk formula (sometimes referred to as the Trophy Rule) seems to have evolved so as to compute correct disparities of age between older and younger partners, this being "divide by two and add seven", that is, the younger partner in a relationship should be at least seven years older than half the older partner's age, else the relationship is liable to be subject to moral disapprobation.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.
Finally, younger partners may see their relationship with an older person as a way of increasing their status within their society.
Individuals who exclusively pursue age-disparate relationships are generally classified by psychologists as parasexual, that is, their behavior is qualitatively different from the norm.
Individuals who occasionally pursue age-disparate relationships are not included in this category, except in the popular press.
Women generally begin to lose fertility as they enter their late twenties, and lose it completely after menopause, while men remain almost fully fertile until much later in life.
Evolutionary psychology suggests that people are more likely to be attracted to people who look like they might be fertile.