The 'George Clooney Effect' explains why younger women often pair up with older men
Alessandro Bianchi / Reuters
Clooney was 53. Alamuddin was 36.According to psychology research, Alamuddin isn't alone in being drawn to older, good-looking men. Advertisement
Appropriately enough, psychologists call it the "George Clooney Effect."
Evolutionary psychologists say that younger women and older men often pair up because while fertility only lasts from puberty to menopause in women, it starts at puberty and can extend long into midlife for many men.The argument goes like this: There's a strategic advantage for women to nab a man who's a little bit older - he's had more time to accumulate resources than younger guys. Plus, he's probably had the chance to gain some emotional stability.
There's another factor at work here, too.A 2010 study lead by Fhionna Moore at the University of Dundee in Scotland found that as women become more financially independent, their taste skews toward older - and better looking - men. In her study, 3,770 heterosexual Britons between ages 18 and 35 took an online survey. They reported their demographic status, financial resources, and career desires, plus their mate preferences. Advertisement
As expected, men who had more money preferred younger, more attractive female partners. But when women had more money, they desired older guys.
"We'd assumed that as women earn more, their partner preferences would actually become more like those of men, with a tendency towards preferring younger, more attractive partners rather than those who can provide and care for children," Moore said in a statement. "We think this suggests greater financial independence gives women more confidence in partner choices, and attracts them to powerful, attractive older men."Which brings us back to George and Amal. As we've reported before, Amal Clooney is a complete boss in her own right. In 2011, she represented WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange during his extradition case against Sweden. In 2014, she advised the Greek government in its attempt to bring the Elgin Marbles from the UK.Advertisement
She's a powerhouse, a person who could basically have her pick among men the world over.
So, naturally, she ended up with Clooney - twice-named the Sexiest Man Alive.