Cougar dating psychology
Age disparity in extreme cases may be seen as dysfunctional (a paraphilia) if such relationships are pursued to the exclusion of all others and to the detriment of the partners.
The term alphamegamia can be used when a person is sexually aroused by partners of a different age group, and "chronophilia" can describe a sexual fixation on members of a different age group.
Younger partners may be searching for someone who is their superior, either socially or financially more secure, or to provide critical life guidance.
Finally, younger partners may see their relationship with an older person as a way of increasing their status within their society.
There are many factors which draw both young and old into such age-disparate relationships.
As is speculated with other practices considered paraphilia, sexual imprinting may play a role in age-disparate relationships.
In some societies age-disparate relationships are seen as aberrant or even perverse.
This may be brought about as an arranged marriage, or either member may pursue and initiate the relationship in those societies that favor freer association.
Situations involving a younger male with an older female also exist, but are not as common.