STYLE
08/22/2010 09:26 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

New Study Claims No Cougar Trend, Dating Websites Attempt To Show Otherwise

Bad news for 20-something men seeking an older woman: the "cougar" trend might not really exist. Dr. Michael Dunn, a psychology researcher at the University of Wales Institute in Cardiff, who just completed a thorough analysis of 22,400 singles ads on popular dating websites in North America, Europe, Australia and Japan told the Australian Associated Press, "Not once across all ages and countries...did females show a preference for males significantly younger than male preferences for females."

Instead, he found a "consistent cross-cultural preference by women for at least same-age or significantly older men." Dunn added, "I do believe the cougar phenomenon is a myth and, yes, a media construct."

Time magazine, however, wasn't quick to buy Dunn's results, citing a 2003 study by AARP, which concluded that 34 percent of 40-and-older women were dating younger men. Women like Valerie Gibson, author of "Cougar: A Guide for Older Women Dating Younger Men" point to that information as proof that the cougar is not extinct. Gibson said, "I get angered by this silliness....Society has always told us that the older woman who is still sexual isn't supposed to exist. We should be wrapped in a shawl baking cookies for our grandchildren and all that crap."

Websites like Cougar Life have been set up to handle the trend. Either "cougars" or "cubs" can register to find dating matches within a selected age range. It seems to be most popular in NYC, L.A. and Miami.

What do you think?