The Science of Cougar Sex: Why Older Women Lust A new article suggests that women are more sexually active in their middle years. Men who cheat on their spouses have always enjoyed an expedient explanation: Evolution made me do it. If it’older men sex really true that evolution can cause a man to risk his marriage, what effect does that have on women’s sexuality?
A new journal article suggests that evolutionary forces also push women to be more sexual, although in unexpected ways. As I pointed out in March, most men remain sexually active into their 70s. Why would women be more sexually active in their middle years than in their teens and 20s? Buss and his students say evolution has encouraged women to be more sexually active as their fertility begins to decline and as menopause approaches.
This trauma left a psychological imprint to bear as many children as possible. However, after the mid-20s, the lizard-brain impulse to have more kids faces a stark reality: it’s harder and harder to get pregnant as a woman’s remaining eggs age. And so women in their middle years respond by seeking more and more sex. To test this theory, Buss and his students asked 827 women to complete questionnaires about their sexual habits.
And, indeed, they found that women who had passed their peak fertility years but not quite reached menopause were the most sexually active. 18 through 26 and 46 and up. And yet there are a few flaws with the data in the new paper. Chiefly: some three-quarters of the participants in the study were recruited on Craigslist, a website where many go to seek hookups, meaning there was a self-selection problem with the sample.