Sydney, May 23 : It's not just loaded older men who find young beautiful wives, for even their poor counterparts can turn out to be lucky.
According to a new US research, the older a man is when he marries after 40, the greater the likelihood that his bride will be significantly younger - whether that man is wealthy and educated or not.
"If you look at guys who do marry, the poor guys marry down in age just as much as the rich guys do," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Paula England, a Stanford University sociologist and co-author of the study, as saying.
"That was kind of surprising to us," she added.
Men in their 40s tend to marry women who average seven years younger, and men in their 50s are marrying brides who average 11 years younger, according to England's research. And men in the 60s? They tend to marry women who are 13 years younger.
"In first marriages, men are typically a couple years older than women," England said.
"But the older men are when they marry, and it doesn't matter whether it's a first or a second marriage, the more years they marry down," she added.
England and research partner Elizabeth McClintock of Stanford partially explain their findings as due to major alterations of the family structure following the tumult of the 1960s. But they especially point to "a double standard of aging."
They say the male ideal of beauty is found in women in their early 20s, and that ideal remains fixed for men no matter that they themselves are growing older.
"Women may be a little more indifferent to age than men are because they are not judging people as much on looks," she added.