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Differences in age preferences for mates can stem from evolutionary mating strategies and age preferences in sexual partners may vary cross culturally.
Buss attributed the young age preference for females to the cues that youth has.
The study found very few instances of older women pursuing much younger men and vice versa.
Within sexual selection Darwin identified a further two mechanisms which are important factors in the evolution of sex differences (sexual dimorphism): intrasexual selection (involve competition with those of the same sex over access to mates) and intersexual choice (discriminative choice of mating partners).
In females, relative youth and physical attractiveness (which males valued more compared to females) demonstrated cues for fertility and high reproductive capacity.
Buss stated the specific age preference of around 25 years implied that fertility was a stronger ultimate cause of mate preference than reproductive value as data suggested that fertility peaks in females around mid-twenties.
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A study conducted by David Buss investigated sex differences in mate preferences in 37 cultures with 10,047 participants.