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.
Even when fantasizing, such women’s minimum age preference remains over 30.
Clooney has been scrutinized at times for dating younger women, though not consistently, and this pattern is nicely reflected in a graph of his own age, his partners’ ages, and the rule’s calculations for minimum and maximum acceptable ages.
Only twice has he become involved with women whose ages were outside the rule’s guideline.
Men do not show a linear increase in maximum age preference that matches the rule’s predictions.
Instead, men report maximum acceptable partner ages that hover around their own age through their 40s.
Figure 2 clearly shows that the rule’s max-age guidelines for men do reflect real-world preferences.
The rule overestimates the perceived acceptability of men becoming involved with older women.
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.
In Figure 1, the solid black line represents the rule’s calculation for 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).
After 40, maximum age preferences for most categories remain lower than their own age.