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Drefahl found that having a younger husband actually shortens a woman’s lifespan.
The women who lived the longest were those with husbands around the same age.
But he hypothesizes that the reason men with younger wives live longer is that a younger woman may help with health care, and she may help expand his social network.
But there are benefits for women with younger husbands.
Women’s financial independence may be the key to understanding why such relationships are so controversial: They challenge traditional gender roles. Women’s sexual desirability is traditionally correlated with youth.Yet men live longer if they are in a relationship with a younger woman.Drefahl is unsure why women with younger husbands don’t live as long.A female breadwinner subverts the stereotype that men are supposed to support women. A double standard around aging also plays a role, the sociologists Hernan Vera, Donna H. Older women are not usually viewed as sexual beings, but instead as sexless, maternal figures.Older woman-younger man relationships show that older women aren’t that different from older men: They both desire young, attractive partners.