Thursday, December 6, 2012

Male Age and Attractiveness

When I first published the post Your Age and Your Attractiveness (which graphically illustrates the change in a woman's attractiveness as she ages) I received a number of requests to create similar charts for men. I declined, since - being a straight male - I didn't consider myself an objective judge of male attractiveness. And anyway it was outside of the scope of this blog.

But recently I was reading an interesting post on Hooking Up Smart, and I followed a link to another post that does exactly what those readers requested of me - it plots male attractiveness against time, and even breaks it down into its primary components. I've included the main plot on the right, but the post is definitely worth a read. Here is the link:

The Socionist: Male Attractiveness Over Time

It is a striking complement to the post I wrote on here. There are a lot of similarities. The author discusses variations on typical attractiveness curves and his plots are similarly generated. In fact, if he didn't write his a couple months before mine I'd probably start throwing around accusations of plagiarism. But he did, so I should probably start expecting one from him...


Related Posts
1. Your Age And Your Attractiveness
2. Some Older Women Are Smart
3. Don't Let a Guy Waste Your Most Eligible Years
4. What Men Think About Older Women

37 comments:

  1. I think there should be different attractiveness curves for people in and out of America. Women especially seem to mature faster in America.. example Kate Upton, she's pretty of course but she is 20 and looks like she is maybe in her mid-late twenties.

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  2. All I'm aware of is the fact that in America, everyone wears tonnes of make-up. I would so not be able to compete. I can always tell American tourists because of all the make-up they wear.

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  3. And american men look older because of the effects of stress (cortisol) and being fat

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  4. Whom is deciding what characteristics make someone attractive and what are those characteristics? Hollywood's leading older men (Sly, Arnie etc...) are toast let alone Clint Eastwood and Robert Redford.

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  5. 40-45 year old guys are the most attractive? Attractive to whom? Certainly not 25 year old girls. I've never met one who was dating a 40 year old (yes, I know this happens, but it does not happen often).
    Now at that age a large part of the population is already taken, so those remaining single and looking might be less picky and thus "easier to get" (although I often hear men in that age range complain about the exact opposite, ie women being extremely picky). Not to mention, chances are that at 40 you have developed your share of quirks that a partner will have to tolerate, so I dunno about the 'psychologcial qualities' thing.
    Help, I don't get this graph.

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    1. Me again, I just realized this graph claims that men possess the same level of attractiveness at 60 as they do at 25. How the heck do you even decide this?

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    2. its plain wrong. as a 31 year old male who has a lot of dating experience, i think this graph us completely flawed to say the least. the reason for this being that he takes unweighted averages of the whole population. meaning, if you take women aged 18-85 and ask them at what age men are most attractive, you will get 40-45. duh. but thats just plain useless from a scientific point of view. these same "scientists" claim that a woman is at her prettiest at age 30. not true. point is, that there must be a higher weight put on the results of the "most dateable" part of the male/female populace (men: age 25-35 roughly, women: age 20-30 roughly). those are the demographics that have the most opportunities for dating all ages and have something to offer. what i can say from personal experience and preference, a man in his late 20's or early 30's has the best pick of both younger girls and girls his age. why? because he has something to offer in terms of intelligence, experience and maturity as well as a higher income while still being relatively young and attractive. unless he is very fit, after 35 he will begin to visibly age (if that hasnt happened earlier already) and will definitely be out of favor with the 20-25 year old crowd (which i find most attractive, albeit slightly immature). that being said, i know a guy who is a 41 year old model and has an amazing body and some awesome tats. he looks like 27 and is damn handsome. if he were not balding (he shaves his head), i would say he looks better than me. but he doesnt ha! so there you have it. if you are 25, i doubt you have a thing for 45 yo men. although, many girls i have dated between 20 and 25 have had older guys at least once. point being, in your age you should go for men between 25-35.

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  6. Yeah, I think a lot of depends on this graph. By age 40, a lot of men are going through a divorce, and end up quite bitter and angry. Same goes for women, of course, but we're not discussing women. But the flip side of that coin is that if a guy has NEVER been married by age 40, it's very likely he's either a playboy or he's got something wrong with him.

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  7. Yes, whoa. Sorry but that is laughable. Men are not the most attractive at 40. Even biologically speaking, sperm starts going bad at 35, resulting in significantly greater chances of having children born with mental illnesses, and disabilities, and regardless of the age of the female they have mated with. Also, psychologically, the 40 year old men I know that are still single are very lost. Peak physical attractiveness is around 21-30, and 29-35 is the highest peak for sum attractiveness. I'm still in my prime, and I would not date a man who is 40 and up. And although when I was 21, I did go on a date with someone who was 40, I was never considering them seriously.

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  8. Yeaa, I'm gonna have to agree with the rest of the ladies here. The ideal age for a man is definitely not 40~55s. As a young woman, that's just nasty to me and I would have absolutely no thought of dating someone so old. My dad is in his early 50s... the thought of it gets me grossed out!

    And by the way, why is the y-axis on your scale so large and out of proportion? For clarity, it should have stopped at a 100max instead of 300.

    I feel like this is just wishful thinking for men to believe that they'll still be attractive around 40. Unfortunately, typical young women are not attracted to such age range, even if the guy works out.

    Most men at that age are balding, stubbornly set on their ways, and pudgey.

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  9. When I was 21, I liked men who were around 35. Now that I'm 28, I still like men around 35. Most men over 40 who don't have children don't want children. Most women 25-35 want children.

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  10. This is a delusion that a lot of men seem to hold. So they don't worry about settling down before 40, and now the ones I know, are in a sad predicament. Because they are competing for women against men who are still in their prime, 25-35, who have looks, and resources. The truth is, by the time they're around 40 they will not be able to pull the kind of girls they want to settle down with, and thus continue to remain miserable and single.

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    1. I know two guys just like you describe. Both waited until their late 30s until they decided to become serious about starting a family. Both broke up with their then girlfriends, one because she didn't want kids and the other because he realized she wasn't 'the one'. That was a few years ago, now they are in their 40s and still looking, and stressing out about it. The pool's shrinking every day and even if they get lucky and find a nice young woman who wants to spend her life with them, it will likely be another few years until kids are on the way. So they will be old dads. That's not for everyone.

      Growing up a few years earlier could have saved these guys a lot of stress. They would have had more women to chose from, too.

      One shouldn't forget that in order to have the family experience a guy first has to find a woman who is truly serious about him and who will be with him for many years. That is a difficult task in its own right, and one that women aren't facing in the same way.

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    2. I agree with you although I think it is hard for women too. I don't believe either sex has the easier time in dating. Going by what you said, this is why I feel it's so important to be up front with what you want early on. And you can do that in a way which doesn't freak the person out. For example I want to get married and have kids at some point and I make no secret of it. That doesn't mean I'll be talking about it on the first date though. The guy will be able to tell based on my reaction to other people's relationships and how I relate to children etc.

      Andrew's post about knowing why you're in a relationship really stirred me into action and not in a negative way either. It made me feel empowered about the fact that relationships are my choice and that there isn't a need to be in one which I don't see going anywhere. A lot of people don't think that deeply about their relationship patterns.

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    3. I know a guy who is like this: He's 41 and is still single. He dates often but usually it's only first or second dates because he ALWAYS finds something wrong with the woman. He was engaged at one point several years ago, but he broke it off to chase a woman he though was a better catch. She ended up dumping him after a few weeks and he lost both women. He's definitely damaged emotionally and he's outwardly bitter and angry, which is a huge turn off to anyone, much less a single woman who is potentially looking for a long-term relationship.

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  11. Hi Andrew,

    I'm a 23 year old student - I like older men too, at least 5 preferably around 10 years - from previous experience I just like the relationship dynamic better,

    I'm always hearing that men prefer younger women but I don't seem to get chatted up by many older guys these days, how does a girl of my age get access to the older men? Can you think of any reasons they would not be approaching me? (I'm not perfect by any means but I'm fairly confident in my attractiveness)

    I'm concerned in a bar situation my age is almost a bit of a disadvantage, as in I'm too old to be a sweet innocent teenage thing, but still too young to be taken seriously, if that makes any sense at all or if I'm way off the mark there?

    And also there anything different to be done to attract an older man specifically?

    Thanks

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  12. Um...According to David Buss men peak in their late twenties to early thirties (28ish-32ish) so Im just going to go with that. I for me (22yr old) 28-35 year old men are the most holistically attractive. Good looking, usually have their stuff together but still youngish. Id prefer a guy my age or older up to about 30. Men peaking at 40 years old is just pipe-dreaming.

    Also 25year olds being on par with 60 year olds? lol, on which planet?

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    1. Exactly. My ex is 24, and ha there's a huge difference between him and a 60 year old, let alone a 29 year old. Another ex of mine is now 35, but he is drop dead gorgeous, and looks significantly younger. He is an anomaly. I briefly checked out a dating website, and the men who were 35 on it looked like they were 45-50! That is not attractive! I was horrified. Scary.

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    2. Sometimes men and women on dating sites claim to be younger than they are as they think they otherwise do not stand a chance of meeting someone.

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    3. Yeah, they lie about their age to come up in searches (search for ages 25-35). Just figure you have to add about 5 or 6 years to most guys' age when dating online.

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  13. Have to agree with what everyone else has said. Men are in the 'peak' in terms of attractiveness from around 28-35. I'm 25 and wouldn't go near a 40 year old and nor would any of my friends. Sure, these relationships with big age gaps happen, but they are hardly the norm. Older men can't really compete with younger men in terms of attractiveness.

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    1. I have to say that ideally I would not want to marry a man more than 7 years older than myself. My dad was 14 years older than my mum and she was a widow at 50, she has been pretty much depressed since then.This has put pressure on me and my siblings as she is emotionally dependent on us. I know there are some very healthy older men out there but large age gaps can prove problematic.

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  14. I recently dated two older men (45) for the first time and i agree the sum of their attractiveness was dependent on the fact that they had money, were in decent shape, experienced, confident, wise, secure with themselves.
    Their downfall: attached to their ex-wives, unwilling to compromise in a relationship, and did not seem to want to settle down.
    They both love younger women. Either way you slice the pie, in order for a man to date a younger women he has to have money, there are few young women who are going to pass up a guy her own age for an older man without him having to get out his credit card. And these men specifically choose younger girls who are uneducated screwed up on drugs not a good home life, dsyfunctional, no goals etc. I could not believe this until i saw it with my own eyes and they are fully able and ready to pony up the dough just to have young arm candy and sex, amazing!

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  15. Men's peak physical attractiveness is in the 21-25 range. They are still lean, they haven't sprouted the majority of their body hair, they have not lost the majority of the hair on their heads. They are young enough to still F like rabbits, but old enough to do it pretty well. I'm sorry, but after age 25, men's physical attributes take a nose dive and by age 40 most men are actually physically repugnant (not just 'less attractive' - disgusting physically) and their penis doesn't do it anymore. Pot bellies, bald heads, gorilla chest hair, body fat percentage through the roof, Viagra prescription. Unless a man has made a SIGNIFICANT income by age 40 they have no prayer, and even then their prayer is just to find a gold digger. I'm 35 and I exclusively date hot guys in their early 20s. Why? I don't need money or kids or even a boyfriend - I just want candy - and those guys in their early 20s are the hottest by far. I capitalize on the fact that for a 35 year old woman, I'm in the top 1% of attractiveness although I'm not delusional and know it can't last forever, so I'll enjoy the hotties while I still can before I age up to being stuck with fatso hairy old men. Whoever made this graph is delusional though. The physical attractiveness line is WAY off.

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    1. My girlfriend is gorgeous at 35, just got proposed to by her 25-26 year old boyfriend. If I were you, I would look for a guy you like who is 25. Those young guys are a waste of time. Why waste your beauty on them, so that for the rest of your life you'll have to settle for men who are repugnant? Capitalize on your beauty by finding a guy who you could be with who is 25, and then maybe you'll have him, instead of having to settle for nasty guys when you're older, which will totally suck. :) And of course, one that doesn't want kids.

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  16. My mum always said - marry a man who is at least 5 years younger, ideally 10 years younger. This is because men age quicker than women in ways of behaviour. According to her, men get stuck in routines and become boring when they get older whereas women like to experience and develop throughout life.

    I am 35 years old and I do want to have kids one day (would have to bee soon - I know) and I can't find guys my age who are single/attractive, so I tend to date younger guys for the reasons that they are hot/more exciting in bed.

    I sometimes go on dating websites to see if I can find guys my age who are single/interested, but as a majority, they seem to be interested in youth. I am not bad looking and I have a pretty good personality as it goes, but I think things are pretty clear: 25 year old girls are way more attractive to guys than 35 year old women...I guess it goes both ways.

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  17. Note from the creator of this graph. Your comments are well taken, but:

    Note that the graph posted here from http://socionist.blogspot.de/2011/11/male-attractiveness-over-time.html has this prefacing it: "In the first example we'll look at a man who enjoys professional success and good health and takes good care of himself." Think of a man who is lean, healthy, confident, and professionally successful.

    In all fairness the next two graphs should also be mentioned. Particularly the third, which is closest to the scenarios discussed by the female commenters here. Here attractiveness peaks at 30-35. The explanation is:

    "Next we look at someone who doesn't take care of himself and/or has health problems and thus has an earlier peak in physical attractiveness. This might affect psychological attractiveness as well, as confidence may be on the decline from an earlier age, and mental sharpness might be affected. We'll assume also that this man has a relatively "aimless" career whose success depends not so much on building upon what has come before, but the person's energy level and ability to jump into new jobs. This implies an earlier peak in ability to provide for others. On the whole, such a man "burns out" more quickly than the previous cases and reaches peak attractiveness at 30-35."

    I read somewhere that "research shows" that men reach peak physical attractiveness at 31 on average. Obviously, for each person it will be different. For men who are only reasonably fit in their teens and college years and then put on weight, etc., the peak will be 20-25. If such a person has a go-nowhere career with money-making potential peaking at 30 and confidence slowly dropping as fitness and career prospects dim, his sum peak attractiveness could come as early as 25 according to my method.

    Admittedly, the three scenarios I posted about are all a bit optimistic, and for many guys who don't have their shit together, the peak is going to come earlier than even 30-35.

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  18. Rick, I don't really understand what you mean by 'peak'. To whom are men attractive when they peak?

    I can buy that an attractive 40 year old man has better chances with single ladies in their 40s than a guy in his 20s has with girls his own age, because of various factors. But at the same time, a 40 year old isn't going to be attractive to the average 20-something, no matter how successful or how well-groomed he is.

    (I actually think that women only really start caring about a guy's success when they get a bit older. Young people aren't that practical in their thinking.)

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  19. this is true. i'm a guy who never really felt the pressure or the need to get married, and have always had a pretty healthy dating/sex life. i say this because i'm 40 now and if i had gotten married i would likely never have found out about what you address in this post. i'd say since about 35, i have noticed my attractiveness rising dramatically. not in my own eyes (i feel the same), but in women's eyes. at first i thought it was just because women were also getting older and therefore less picky. but i'm attracting more young women too. i'm talking 10-20 years my junior. i suppose it's because as i get older, i'm gaining more and more confidence, which as we all know, women love as much as men love a beautiful face and tight body . i should say though, that i'm also in decent shape and look around 30. i'm married now, to a kind, warm, sweet, and hot 31 year old. anyway, for the guys, think about delaying marriage. you'll be pleasantly shocked at you increasing powers. i don't know when i'll "peak"... the chart says 45 and that does feel about right. take advantage of your peak. for the women, know and take advantage of your peak as well. if you're career oriented, i'd suggest focusing on marriage in your early years and career after that. if you wait until 30 you'll be facing stiff competition from not only your peers but women younger than you as well.

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  20. i'm the anon from right above. I just want to add a few things. first, who i'm attracting:

    at age 20 - attract primarily 20 year old women
    at age 25 - attract primarily 25 year old women
    at age 30 - attract primarily 30 year old women
    at age 35 - attract primarily 25-35 year old women
    at age 40 - attract primarily 30-40 year old women

    and overall, the *quantity* has been steadily increasing.

    maybe it's just my experience, but i doubt it. i'm pretty average i think.

    i think that once a guy is past around 25, he'll probably rarely attract 20 year old girls anymore, unless he's rich or famous. but you'll notice that at 35, i was attracting more 25 year-olds than i was when i was 30. i haven't really thought about why.

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  21. If I were to date a man in his early 20s, I would NOT mind about his finacial status. Even if he is in student loans it's fine too.

    However, if I were to date a man a lot more older than I am, and if a man has passed 35 and still is struggling finacially and poor, I would definitely care, unless he can give out convicible reasons on how he ended up there.

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  22. I just want to say I think it is funny how all these people talk about "peeking" at this age and blah blah as the case goes. Let us see what you have to say when you wake up one day and realize time has flown by and your now mid 30's! Oh no, the world will be over and your now on the has been sexy list. C'mon lets get real here, if you take care of yourself and enjoy making life fun, the wisdom and things you have achieved alone are attractive traits let alone what I refer to as "the natural glow". That can be anyone, any age who is content with their position in life and makes the most of all life has to offer. That gets you involved with actions in life, you shine, you inspire, hell might even catch a few eyes while your at it lol, but its that aura or "catchiness" that people like to be around and that is what makes you attractive. I've lived this philosophy and my age 0f 34 NEVER comes as a conversation of any barrier whatsoever. With that I'm out, Cheers mates

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  23. Attractiveness is a relative term. No single man can be attractive to ladies of all age categories.

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  24. I'm 23 and i find men in their 30's attractive. Confident, calm, mature, experienced.

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  25. It depends on culture... Western culture it seems like a 10 year rule to date! In europe, middle eastern and Asian, they dont really care about age! I know 50 y/os dating women in 20s. When i retire im moving to Thailand and getting a nice 20-30 y/o. These women look for a emotional strong provider and they make better wives than western women! They look after u and your kids... way 2 many feminists in western countries these days!

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  26. I just have to put this out there: I'm a young woman (24) and a year or so ago I dated a guy in this so-called "peak attractiveness" range of 40-45. I agree completely with everyone else who said that the guy who created this graph is delusional. This guy I dated was NOT attractive physically; what was attractive about him was his personality, HOWEVER he turned out to be a sociopath - no joke, actually a sociopath. I still have not even began to recover from this relationship and I don't think I will ever fully recover. If a guy is in his 40s and has a charming personality, but is not settled down and is going after young women, this is a HUGE red flag. Men this much older have a big advantage in being able to emotionally manipulate younger women. I would never want a young woman to go through what I did. I agree with everyone that men's peak attractiveness externally and internally is probably late twenties to mid-thirties. I would advise women my age to stick to this range, and to all the 45 year old men reading this - don't flatter yourselves, please. You are not at your "peak".

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