Rule of dating age

Based on the creepiness rule, a 20-year old John/Lauren can date someone who is 17.This was in line with what people surveyed found acceptable (~18).As John and Lauren got older, however, the creepiness rule differed from how people actually responded.According to the rule, a 60 year-old woman is allowed to date 37 year-olds like nobody’s business.As I reviewed the data, I realized that one rule was not enough.Society has different expectations for men and women — men can date younger than women and women can date older than men.Buunk & colleagues wrote a paper investigating how factors such as age, gender, and type of romantic relationship (casual, serious, marriage, etc.) affect the age limits people place on potential romantic partners.The researchers approached random people in public and asked them to imagine themselves in a romantic relationship with an attractive person of the opposite sex .

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This made me wonder, does the creepiness rule actually reflect what is socially acceptable when it comes to age differences in dating?Within a few days I got 274 responses: 110 male, 163 female, and one person that “preferred not to say”.The results showed that the creepiness rule is generally too lenient about how young you can date — especially as you get older.Yet according to the survey, 37 was well outside the age range of what is socially acceptable.The results also showed that the creepiness rule is too restrictive about how old you can date when you are young, but becomes too lenient as you get older.

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