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He approached the line with two other partners but is well within the threshold in his marriage with Amal Alamuddin. The minimum rule (half-your-age-plus-seven) seems to work for men, although the maximum rule falls short, failing to reflect empirical age-related preferences.How well does the rule capture women’s preferences?Women’s preferred maximum partner age: Examining maximum preferences, again the rule is more lenient, offering an age range with which most people are not comfortable.The rule states that it is acceptable for 30-year old women to date men who are up to 46 years old, but in reality, 30-year-old women state that their max acceptable partner age would be less than 40 (around 37).Even when fantasizing, such women’s minimum age preference remains over 30.The rule’s calculated minimum acceptable partner ages seem to fit men better than women.You might also take care to refer to the maximum age judiciously—the minimum age guideline seems to be more on target (and more so for men than women).Graph of the Half-age-plus-seven rule ("never date anyone under half your age plus 7"), which claims to dictate what age disparity between two people is acceptable in dating/romantic/intimate relationships during the late 20th century / early 21st century (called the "Standard creepiness rule" in the xkcd webcomic).

But the rule does map perfectly onto actual reports of what is socially acceptable.Those age preferences consistently hover around the values denoted by the rule (the black line).If anything, in practice, men are than the rule would designate appropriate.For example, this sample of 60-year-old men reports that it is acceptable to fantasize about women in their 20s, which the rule would say is unacceptable.But fantasies, of course, are not generally subject to public scrutiny and the rule is only designed to calculate what is socially acceptable —so this discrepancy is not necessarily a failure of the rule.

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