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age boundary: Take your age, subtract 7, and double it.So for a 24-year-old, the upper age limit would be 34 (17 * 2). How well does the rule reflect scientific evidence for age preferences?In Figure 1, the solid black line represents the rule’s calculation for the minimum acceptable range.You can see that men are basically operating by the rule for minimum age preferences for marital relationships (blue bars) and serious dating relationships (yellow bars).You might also take care to refer to the maximum age judiciously—the minimum age guideline seems to be more on target (and more so for men than women).A teen’s main focus should be on having innocent fun, developing their own identity, and educating themselves, instead of pregnancy and STD scares, possible abuse, and the heavy responsibilities that accompany dating.The rule underestimates women’s reported preferences in their 20s, but the gap between reports of what is socially acceptable and the rule itself widens over time. Let’s take a look at Demi Moore, who at times has been criticized for dating men who differ substantially from her own age.As you can see from the graph, one partner exceeded the rule’s calculated acceptable maximum age, while Ashton Kutcher’s age fell short of the socially acceptable minimum age when they first started dating in 2003.
How well does the rule capture women’s preferences?
Even when fantasizing, such women’s minimum age preference remains over 30.
The rule’s calculated minimum acceptable partner ages seem to fit men better than women.
After 40, maximum age preferences for most categories remain lower than their own age.
Thus the rule for maximum age is fairly ineffective at capturing what men actually believe is acceptable. Now let's apply the rule to actual dating behavior by examining George Clooney’s dating habits.