There are evolutionary reasons for this, but psychologist Alice Eagly suggests women and men value things according to changing social roles; women, then, value in their mates that which society historically has withheld from them (i.e., power and money).
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On one hand, we live in the golden age of female comedy.
Tina Fey, Lena Dunham, Mindy Kaling, Abbi Jacobson, Ilana Glazer, and their ilk certainly aren’t the first women to have wildly popular TV shows based entirely around their own funniness.
Sure, part of it is also status: showing up with a beautiful young thing at your arm makes everyone in the room perk up and assume you’re endowed, one way or another. The ego boost men get from being seen and validated by a much younger woman makes them feel that they’re holding on to life, youth, and virility in a post-divorce, middle-age crisis, when the three are in short supply.
Part of it is undeniably tied to evolution and reproduction.
Generally, the older man is lauded by his peers, and the younger woman skewered by hers.
But there’s a sort of omertà when it comes to these couplings; people don’t usually get knee-deep into the psychology of relationship age gaps.“So what do you think about arm candy?
(Major adversity, we smother in smoked meats.) Given three adjectives to describe me, most of my female friends would list “funny” as one of them.
But I maybe make a man laugh once every other month.
A few years ago, Laura Mickes was teaching her regular undergraduate class on childhood psychological disorders at the University of California, San Diego.