Someone must have linked to Freddie's post that links here, or something, but as of recently the trickle of arrivals from there has become a horde. Thank you for telling me, Sitemeter. Freddie or anyone else - where are they arriving from? Please tell me this isn't a "game" blog...
Nothing is going to make men attracted to women based on their accomplishments instead of their youth, just like nothing is going to make women attracted to men based on their youth instead of their accomplishments. That's one area where evolutionary psychology seems undeniable (certainly more predictable than much we call science). The problem of women going immediately from "too young to marry" to "too old to marry" is a simple one. The "too young to marry" folks are mostly engaging in a pleasant fantasy involving a complex mix of ideology, nostalgia, and sentimentality. The "too old to marry" people have cruel reality on their side. It would make far more sense for women to marry in their early 20s and develop a career in their 30s than vice versa. Their value in the marriage market drops far more precipitously than their ability to attend graduate school, start a business, etc. When you treat a 20 percent improvement to your career prospects as a goal ahead of a 80 percent increase in your marriage prospects the outcome is, yes, predictable.Science! No, better than science! Good use of "simple" to describe a phenomenon that's anything but. I choose to discuss this comment not, of course, because of the reputation of its author, but because it represents, alas, what a lot of men think.
Given the extent to which couples these days form between men and women of the same age, all of whom are presumably choosing among potentials also in their cohort, the appeal of 23-year-old women to 45-year-old men is largely irrelevant. Ah, but the 23-year-old men are not ready for marriage! They're man-children, and young women will see the light! Thing is, nor - contrary to popular opinion - are the 23-year-old women at that life stage, which is why the couples that form at 23 only marry at, say, 30. That Mr. 45 is all stability and let's get married next week is not interesting to 23-year-old women. Even if he's Dr. 45, JD, PhD. If he's Mick Jagger (well, a young Jagger at this point), fine. Otherwise, not interesting.
And Anonymous has missed what the "window of opportunity" is about, if he thinks "cruel reality" or indeed any evo-psych "reality" enters into it. The "too old" end of the window is not about women wishing they'd married while they still had a chance. It's not about biological clocks, because - and this is pretty radical, I know - women whose number one concern is having a baby, but who could give or take the dude, are able, these days, to have a baby without a dude. It's about women reaching a certain age, conveniently forgetting that they're happy single, or at any rate happier than they'd have been if they'd settled for some dude they dumped ten years prior because they weren't into him, and - expectation-script buzzing in the back of their minds - thinking they should be lamenting The Man-Shortage, when in fact they still have potential dudes (because, see above, even the men their age who might prefer 20 aren't getting 20), but fundamentally when it comes down to it don't want a dude.
So that's the "window-of-opportunity" angle. But where the comment really loses me, but also where it most represents views one sees all the time, is in its insistence that men and women are looking for radically different things in a partner. The fact that couples tend to be well-matched in terms of looks and "accomplishments" would seem to be all we'd need to know. You'd think.