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However, human males tend to have more parental investment compared to mammal males (although females still tend to have more parental investment).

Thus, both sexes will have to compete and be selective in mate choices.

These two theories explain why natural and sexual selection acts slightly differently on the two sexes so that they display different preferences.

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Male chimpanzees tend to prefer older females than younger and it is suggested that specific cues of female mate value are very different to humans.

Buss attributed the young age preference for females to the cues that youth has.

Differences in age preferences for mates can stem from evolutionary mating strategies and age preferences in sexual partners may vary cross culturally.

There are also social theories for age differences in relationships as well as suggested reasons for 'alternative' age-hypogamous relationships.

As well as asking participants a number of questions on mate selection criteria, they also had to provide the oldest and youngest partner they would accept.