The results from the study therefore show that the mean preferred marriage age difference (3.04 years averaging male and female preferred age) corresponds very closely with the actual mean marriage age difference (2.99).
The preferred age of females is 24.8 years and the actual average age females marry is 25.3 years old (and 28.2 for males) which actually falls directly on the age where females are most fertile, so the sexes have evolutionarily adapted mating preferences that maximise reproductivity.
Although there is a number of reproductive advantages to short term mating, males still pursue long term mates and this is due to the possibility of monopolising a female's life time reproductive resources.
They also tend to have a more difficult task of evaluating a male's reproductive value accurately based on physical appearance as age tends to have fewer constraints on a male's reproductive resources.
Analysing the results further we see that cross culturally; the average age females prefer to marry is 25.4 years old, and they prefer a mate 3.4 years older than themselves, therefore their preferred mate would be aged 28.8 years of age.
Males however prefer to marry when they are 27.5 years old, and a female to be 2.7 years younger than themselves, yielding their preferred mate to be 24.8 years old.
Although some of these costs will be the same for males and females (risk of STIs and impairing long term mate value), the costs for women will be more severe due to paternity uncertainty (cues of multiple mates will be disfavoured by males).
preferences for age differences were measured and research supported the theory that people prefer to marry close to the age when female fertility is at its highest (24–25 years).Buss and Schmitt provided a Sexual Strategies Theory which predicts the two sexes have evolved distinct psychological mechanisms which underlie the strategies utilised for short and long term mating.This theory is directly relevant and compatible with the two already mentioned theories Life History and Parental Investment.There are also alternative social theories for age differences in relationships as well as suggested reasons for 'alternative' age-hypogamous relationships.Age-disparity relationships have been documented for most of recorded history and have been regarded with a wide range of attitudes dependant on sociocultural norms and legal systems.Parental Investment Theory refers to the value that is placed on a potential mate based on reproductive potential and reproductive investment.