When John/Lauren are 30, the creepiness rule actually lines up with how people responded.
The rule states that the maximum age of Lauren’s lover is 46 and according to the survey, the actual acceptable age is 45.4.
I then gave different ages for their friend - 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 - and asked participants what the socially acceptable minimum and maximum ages of their friend’s new lovers were.
Although I could have hit the streets of New York and surveyed people in-person Buunk style, I decided to m Turk my survey.
In the survey, the acceptable minimum age of John’s partners were consistently lower than that of Lauren’s.
The difference is small (~6 months) when John/Lauren are young, but increases as John/Lauren get older.
By the time they're 60, John is "allowed" to be with someone three years younger than the youngest Lauren can be with.
The rule is too lenient about how old and how young people are “allowed” to date.Within a few days I got 274 responses: 110 male, 163 female, and one person that “preferred not to say”.The results showed that the creepiness rule is generally too lenient about how young you can date - especially as you get older.As I reviewed the data, I realized that one rule was not enough.Society has different expectations for men and women - men can date younger than women and women can date older than men.