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The study found very few instances of older women pursuing much younger men and vice versa.
Within sexual selection Darwin identified a further two mechanisms which are important factors in the evolution of sex differences (sexual dimorphism): intrasexual selection (involve competition with those of the same sex over access to mates) and intersexual choice (discriminative choice of mating partners).
In August 2010, Michael Dunn of the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff completed and released the results of a study on age disparity in dating.
Dunn concluded that "Not once across all ages and countries ...
An overarching evolutionary theory which can provide an explanation for the above mechanisms and strategies adopted by individuals which leads to age disparity in relationships is called Life History theory, Life History theory posits that individuals have to divide energy and resources between activities (as energy and resources devoted to one task cannot be used for another task) and this is shaped by natural selection.
This study used 21,245 participants between 18 and 65 years of age who were not involved in a close relationship.Age-disparity relationships have been documented for most of recorded history and have been regarded with a wide range of attitudes dependent on sociocultural norms and legal systems. Relationships with age disparity of all kinds have been observed with both men and women as the older or younger partner.In various cultures, older men and younger women often seek one another for sexual or marital relationships.However, human males tend to have more parental investment compared to mammal males (although females still tend to have more parental investment).
Thus, both sexes will have to compete and be selective in mate choices.Age disparity in sexual relationships is the difference in ages of individuals in sexual relationships.