New feature: For the good of the species?

// 16 April 2009

If you believe one story on a popular science news site, there’s proof that older men “chasing” younger women benefits humankind (or should that be mankind?) Eirwen-Jane Pierrot considers the impact of these sensationalist claims on women in the real world

I recently stumbled upon an online article headlined “Older men chasing younger women: A good thing”. There it was, in bold, blue Ariel text at the top of my screen. My eyes quickly scanned the page for the missing question mark – which would surely be somewhere, right? There must have been some sort of glitch, rows of text must have gone out of sync. Somewhere-or-other a bold, blue Ariel question mark would be lurking behind a pop-up advert. But alas, there was no glitch, nor any pop-up adverts. The headline was not a statement not a question: Older men chasing younger women: A good thing.

Perhaps I wouldn’t have been so taken aback if I’d accidentally stumbled onto a Hugh Hefner appreciation Facebook group (there are somewhere in the region of 400 of them, incidentally). I would have shirked it off, rolled my eyes and forgotten all about it. But that’s not what happened. Instead, I read the whole article, open-mouthed and, by the time I’d gotten to the end, was riled enough to put pen to paper and write this piece. I was mad because the 1,500-odd words, carefully detailing older men’s justification to ‘chase’ young women, was being hosted by a science news site. It wasn’t a few fantasy lines from a retired car salesman, lauding the merits of his trophy wife, it was a thorough report, heavily referenced and supported by evidence from prominent universities. It was truth. scientific, objective fact. Can’t argue with that, can you?

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