What is the acceptable minimum age for your own (and others’) dating partners?
By the time of their separation in 2011, however, Kutcher, then 33 had crossed the minimum threshold (31.5) defined by the rule. Curious outsiders are quick to judge when they can see a wide age gap between two romantic partners. In a world in which many social norms are often unspoken, the half-your-age-plus-7 rule concretely defines a boundary.
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.
In Figure 1, the solid black line represents the rule’s calculation for minimum acceptable range.
You can see that men are basically operating by the rule for minimum age preferences for marital relationships (blue bars) and serious dating relationships (yellow bars).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.This rules states that by dividing your own age by two and then adding seven you can find the age boundary: Take your age, subtract 7, and double it.So for a 24-year old, the upper age limit would be 34 (i.e., 17 * 2).In other words, while the rule states that 40-year-old women can feel comfortable dating 27-year-old men, this does not reflect the social preferences and standards of women.