A University of Otago scientist in New Zealand will be conducting a three-year long study of zebrafish to determine why women are attracted to older men.
Dr Sheri Johnson has won a grant of more than £220,000 to study the behavior of 700 zebrafish and find out why women are attracted to older males even though such a behavior is in contradiction to evolution as older men tend to have lower sperm count.
The research will focus on zebrafish as they fertilize their eggs outside of the body, thus making it easier to study the whole process in detail. Researchers have so far struggled to provide an explanation as to why females are attracted to older men since sperm function also declines with age.
Dr. Johnson told stuff.co.nz that if a woman was coming to the end of her fertility window she would definitely prefer a younger man to an older man in case she wanted to get pregnant. However she added that there must be an evolutionary explanation for this preference to older males. Hence this study has been undertaken to see if such an explanation can be found.