The study found very few instances of older women pursuing much younger men and vice versa.
Real-life cougar relationships include Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher (15 years), Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins (12 years), and Barbara Hershey and Naveen Andrews (21 years).
A 2010 British psychological study published in Evolution and Human Behavior asserted that men and women, in general, continue to follow traditional gender roles when searching for mates, and thus concluded that the "cougar" concept does not exist.
The study found that most men preferred younger, physically attractive women, while most women, of any age, preferred successful, established men their age or older.
The short answer: A cougar is an older woman who is primarily attracted to and has sex with with significantly younger men.
Answer: The most commonly-accepted definition of a cougar is a woman 40 years of age or older who exclusively pursues very young men. Some feel that a cougar can be as young as 35, but women of this age would not be viewed as cougars unless their sexual conquests were no older than 25; the ten-year age difference seems to be an unspoken but accepted minimum between partners.
Typically, cougars prey upon men almost young enough to be their sons.
Thus fortysomething cougars would be attracted to men in their 20s, and fiftysomething cougars would pursue men in their 30s and so on.
Some cougars are less interested in a relationship than a sexual conquest, perhaps enjoying the fact that they are physically appealing to men who are considered to be in the prime of their virility.
A cougar may be married or unmarried, and some even go after their daughters' boyfriends.