A society in which older gal is sexier

Faye Flam in the Philadelphia Inquirer:

We take for granted that men prefer young women and that older women will buy all sorts of products to appear young. We all know what Joan Collins meant when she quipped that the problem with beauty is that it’s like being born rich and getting poorer.

Mini_hellenmirrenYet the youth premium doesn’t apply to other creatures. A paper published last week in Current Biology reports that chimpanzee females grow sexier with age. Chimp males are natural gerontophiles.

Boston University anthropologist Martin Muller and colleagues observed this pattern over many years following wild chimps at Kibali National Park in Uganda.

The finding makes sense, he says, if you know that chimps employ a completely different mating strategy than we humans. The females are not just promiscuous, they’re almost frantically so. “It looks like their primary goal is to mate with all the males,” Muller says.

More here.