Women have a very sensible approach to ageing
This table lists, for a woman, the age of men she finds most attractive.
Reading from the top, we see that 20 and 21-year-old women prefer 23-year-old guys; 22-year-old women like men who are 24, and so on down through the years to women at 50, who we see rate 46-year-olds the highest. This isn’t survey data, this is data built from tens of millions of preferences expressed in the act of finding a date, and even from the first few entries, the gist of the table is clear: a woman wants a guy to be roughly as old as she is.
Look more closely, though, and there are two transitions, which coincide with big birthdays. The first is at 30, where the trend of male ages dips below parity, never to cross back. The data is saying that until 30, a woman prefers slightly older guys; afterwards, she likes them slightly younger. Then at 40, a woman’s tastes appear to hit a wall. Or a man’s looks fall off a cliff, if you want to think about it that way. If we want to pick the point where a man’s sexual appeal has reached its limit, it’s there: 40.
Meanwhile, men may get older but they don’t really grow up
Here’s how men rate women, the votes going the other way. Whether they are 20, 30, or 50, men think a woman is at her best when she’s in her early 20s.
As you can see, it’s pretty much a unanimous vote for youth. Wooderson, the character played by Matthew McConaughey in the film Dazed and Confused, apparently spoke for all men when he said: “That’s what I love about these high-school girls, man. I get older. They stay the same age (source: theguardian).