My friend Sara and I had a running gag back when I worked at Self. Whenever one of us would come across a study that proved something that was so patently obvious we couldn’t believe anyone would fund the research, we’d send the link to each other with a comment like, “From the Your Tax Dollars at Work department: Turns out, having sex makes a couple feel closer! Whew, glad that hotly debated issue is finally put to rest.” Or “Wait, did you know that women who eat store-bought baked goods and then sit on their asses all day everyday tended to weigh more than those who do not? Stop the presses.” Well, it cracked us up, anyway. You’d be shocked at how many of those kinds of studies are published each month.
While there is value to making sure that conventional wisdom can withstand the scrutiny of science, you gotta wonder why they bother sometimes. One such study was mentioned in a New York Times piece today: A report in The Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy found that not only were the younger men in May to December romances drawn to their 10-years-older female partners because they found them physically attractive, but that furthermore, there was no funky mother replacement business going on.
Jezebel did a great post on it. “Imagine that: A younger guy being attracted to an older woman. Why, it flies in the face of everything we know about dried up old hags!”
I don’t really have anything to add to Jezebel’s post or the one I wrote a while back. The study proved that which should have been self-evident, but if Cougar Town is any indication, still is not. As I and many smarter people than myself have pointed out, “cougars,” if they exist, are not foisting their sagging, rotting carcasses on schoolboys. Women like that are rarer than the actual cat, which is listed as endangered in North America.
Next up: A new study reveals that most of the images of women we see in the media are twisted male masturbation fodder and fantasy that bear no relation to actual female humans. Film at 11.