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For rule-related involvement (e.g., relationships), 60-year-old men are stating that the minimum acceptable age is around 40ish, which does map much more closely to the rule’s predictions.Men’s preferred partner age: The rule states that you can calculate maximum acceptable partner ages by subtracting seven from your own age and multiplying it by 2.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.Those age preferences consistently hover around the values denoted by the rule (the black line).If anything, in practice men are than the rule would designate appropriate.This rules states that by dividing your own age by two and then adding seven you can find the age boundary: Take your age, subtract 7, and double it.So for a 24-year old, the upper age limit would be 34 (i.e., 17 * 2).
The utility of this equation is that it lets you chart acceptable age discrepancies that adjust over the years. Let's examine it: How well does the rule reflect scientific evidence for age preferences?Women’s preferred minimum partner age: Below are the data from Buunk et al.’s (2000) study on women’s minimum age preferences; the rule’s age calculations are represented by the solid line.In general, the figure shows that women are reporting minimum age preferences that the rule’s predictions.After 40, maximum age preferences for most categories remain lower than their own age.Thus the rule for maximum ages 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.