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Cougars On The Prowl

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Cougars On The Prowl

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The article discusses the sexuality of the women beyond the age of forty. It states the views of two different ideologies about sexuality and ageing. The first explains the link between sexuality and aging that does not agree with the fact that older women seeks younger sexual partners and believe in the stereotype age and gender relation. The second ideology disagree with the first ideology and tries to recognize the sexual desire of the older generation which is the new trend and it support sexual activity and sexual health for the life time.
The article has shows the findings from a survey of 84 women in the age group of 20-60. The reactions of these women regarding the ideology was noted and concluded that majority of the women goes with the first ideology. However few has accepted the changing trend and indicated the reality of the older women’s sexual desire (Montemurro & Siefken, 2014).
An American media has identified a term cougar for the women of 40s who desire to have younger sexual partners. The term is generally used for desperate divorce women or others who are beyond 40s. It is the new trend of looking at the older women who are previously perceived to have disinterest in sexual life. The trend of identifying cougar has started in north America and was first time used by the media in 2006 in one of its article. Later, it was used further in American film  in 2008 and then appeared several times in 2009, 2010 and 2011 in several articles of newspaper, magazine. Further, in 2012, even several websites were started which paired the older women with young men (Weg , 2013).
The paper basically tries to analysis whether the term cougar can be used to show the deviation from traditional sexual scripts both in respect of gender and age. It tries to understand the attitudes of other women towards cougar in society and shows the insight of the peer group for women who are assertive towards sexual life in the society. The paper discusses the stereotype ideology about women sexuality which asserts that beyond 40  are frigid older women and does not have desires towards sexual life. Several studies have shown that a significant number of women do response to sexual desire even after the menopausal state and it remains active till the age of 90s.There is no uniformity between aging and sexual desires. The women get affected by the physical and social factors such as cultural norms, relationship status, generations, sexual orientation and health issues. It has been found that about 63% of women have health issues between the age fifty-seven and seventy-four and so there is increasing disinterest in the sexual life. There are several studies that tries to understand the changing ideologies about sexuality of women and concluded that the current trend has shown some reality in the changing ideology (Trompeter et al, 2012).
The methods used to make a study on the changing sexuality of older women were through collection of data from the mode of direct interviews. There were ninety-five women whose interviews were taken from the period 2008 to 2009 and the sample was stratified in terms of marital status, race, age and parental status. The composition of age was as follows:


Sample size











The questions asked in the interview was regarding their attitude towards sexuality and aging and the way sexuality changes over the life time. There were question about the term cougar and its acceptance in the society.  Out of the total sample size 70% lived in suburban areas and 30% lived in urban areas. The data were then analysed and sorted to establish attitudinal patterns towards the term cougar and idea about the aggressiveness about sexuality of the older women (Spatz et al., 2013).
The findings of the study say that the term was familiar to most of the respondents and almost all of them have given their views about the women sexuality. Only 15% of the women were ignorant of the term. Out of the total respondents 56% of the women responded negatively towards the term and rest showed mixed reactions. The view of the majority of the respondents were that the term is used not only for the older women but also for those who goes against the traditional norms of the society and indulge in sexuality beyond the general rules of the society. It can be also use for women who reinforce double standards towards sexuality. Only few women, seventeen out of the total, accepted the term cougar as it is stated. Hence as a word, cougar reflects a social image of aggression and desperation stimulated by modern culture (Beausoleil et al., 2013).
The discussion in the paper reflects the changing attitude of people towards their sexual life. I disagree with the stated link between changing sexual desires of older women and modern culture. The sexuality of women varies widely and is not uniform with individuals and so drawing a generalised conclusion about the sexuality behaviour of older women is not supported. The term cougar was restrain by many as it violated the traditional behaviour of the society. There may be few who violate the traditional behaviour but it cannot be stated as generalised behaviour for older women. There was tension between the alternate and hegemonic ideologies and that clears the traditional outlook of the society which still holds the dominant position. The cougar, if exists, holds a subordinate position in the society and the cultural life of the people (Montemurro & Siefken, 2014).
The use of the term cougar may push the pharmaceutical industry and increase their profit by creating more demand for medicines which keep the people fit forever and fight off the declining desire of sexuality. It can be only used to show the changing social and cultural scenario but cannot be the stated situation of the modern society. In a society the cultural changes and start influencing the society and then slowly bring social change. The image tried to be created by the continuous usage of the term cougar may affect the cultural of few people and later become contagious to the society which may lead to the expected social change by the author. I completely disagree with the propagation of such negativity in the society by the usage of the term cougar. It should be the personal interest of the individual and should be used only at the personal level so that the traditional cultural of the society does not get destroyed (Mc , 2013). 
The women who were interviewed had shown mixed reaction towards the use of the term but were common in thoughts regarding the concept to be personalised rather than publicised. Their response shows their likes and dislikes about the older women sexual desires and acceptance of it is a personal view (Lee et al., 2016).

“text-align: justify;”>It is true that the society is changing and the change is very obvious in all respects, ie in terms of relationship, attitudes, culture and aggressiveness. There are multiple views regarding the older women sexuality and it should be treated as the choice of the older women and not as a topic of discussion for the society. It is a personalised factor and will affect the society culture if propagated in the society (Giddens, 2013). 
In conclusion, the brief of the paper is given.  The paper discusses the sexuality of the women beyond the age of forty and brought the discussion of two different ideologies about the sexuality of the older aged women. The first ideology explains the link between sexuality and aging that does not agree with the fact that older women seeks younger sexual partners and believe in the stereotype age and gender relation. The second ideology disagree with the first ideology and tries to recognize the sexual desire of the older generation which is the new trend and it support sexual activity and sexual health for the life time. In this regard a research study has been done with the set of primary data collected from interviewing 84 women. The results show a mixed response. However, broadly maximum of the women respondent disagree with increasing sexual desire with older women and getting more aggressive in choosing younger men as partners (Di, Breland & Allen, 2013).
Hence the concept of cougar is disagreed to be used publically to show the changing society. The variation in sexuality is accepted but categorizing the older women by a particular state is disagreed. Further, the society is changing but generalising the personal interest on the society is not accepted and disagreed. At the personal individual level, the desires of older women towards sexuality may be according to the discussion in the paper, but it may hold only for rare few and not for all. Thus generalising the concept will affect the growth and development of the society (Burgdorf, Sirin & Wolff, 2015). 
Beausoleil, R. A., Koehler, G. M., Maletzke, B. T., Kertson, B. N., & Wielgus, R. B. (2013). Research to regulation: Cougar social behavior as a guide for management. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 37(3), 680-688.
Burgdorf, J., Sirin, A. & Wolff, F., 2015, September. The COUGAR Experiment for BEXUS 18-Lessons Learned. In 22nd ESA Symposium on European Rocket and Balloon Programmes and Related Research (Vol. 730, p. 613).
Di Napoli, E. A., Breland, G. L., & Allen, R. S. (2013). Staff knowledge and perceptions of sexuality and dementia of older adults in nursing homes.Journal of Aging and Health, 25(7), 1087-1105.
Giddens, A. (2013). The transformation of intimacy: Sexuality, love and eroticism in modern societies. John Wiley & Sons.  
Lee, D. M., Nazroo, J., O’Connor, D. B., Blake, M., & Pendleton, N. (2016). Sexual health and well-being among older men and women in England: findings from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Archives of sexual behavior, 45(1), 133-144.
McClintock, A. (2013). Imperial leather: Race, gender, and sexuality in the colonial contest. Routledge.
Montemurro, B., & Siefken, J. M. (2014). Cougars on the prowl? New perceptions of older women’s sexuality. Journal of Aging Studies, 28, 35-43.
Spatz, E. S., Canavan, M. E., Desai, M. M., Krumholz, H. M., & Lindau, S. T. (2013). Sexual activity and function among middle-aged and older men and women with hypertension. Journal of hypertension, 31(6).
Trompeter, S. E., Bettencourt, R., & Barrett-Connor, E. (2012). Sexual activity and satisfaction in healthy community-dwelling older women. The American journal of medicine, 125(1), 37-43.
Weg, R. B. (Ed.). (2013). Sexuality in the later years: Roles and behavior. Elsevier.

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