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In all 37 cultures it was found that males preferred females younger than themselves and females preferred males older than themselves.
Male chimpanzees tend to prefer older females than younger and it is suggested that specific cues of female mate value are very different to humans.
It was found that for all ages males were willing to accept females that are slightly older than they are (on average 4.5 years older), but they accept females considerably younger than their own age (on average 10 years younger).
Females demonstrate a complementary pattern, being willing to accept considerably older males (on average 8 years older) and were also willing to accept males slightly younger than themselves (on average 5 years younger).
Thus, both sexes will have to compete and be selective in mate choices.
These two theories explain why natural and sexual selection acts slightly differently on the two sexes so that they display different preferences.