We know, we know: Older guys dating younger women is the oldest—and most cliché—story in the book. And while we don’t need to go into all the reasons why men of a certain age feel the need to have a woman young enough to be their daughter (or, in some cases, granddaughter—ick) on their arms, it’s still kind of a mystery why so many females take up with old dudes.
According to Business Insider, evolutionary psychologists say that younger women and older men often get together because while fertility lasts only from puberty to menopause in women, it starts at puberty and can extend long into midlife for lots of men. That means there’s a strategic advantage for women to snag an older gent—he’s had more time to accumulate resources and stability than his younger counterparts, which could make him a more viable partner and father.
Plus, a 2010 study by University of Dundee in Scotland found that as women become more financially independent, their tastes skew toward older—and better-looking—men.
Of course, in the case of celebrities, there’s the classic tale of unknown younger women gravitating toward older actors, singers, and other male celebrity types for the money, the fame, the perks—and men being men, well, they eat it right up.
In the gallery above, check out 22 younger women who either date or have married much older men.
Jason Statham and Rosie Huntington-Whitely | Age difference: 19 years