We recently shared a study by University of Colorado academics whose results contradicted sugar-daddy-and-cougars stereotypes. Their analysis suggested that people who marry much older or younger partners are seldom either wealthy or attractive.
Au contraire, insists Brandon Wade, CEO of SeekingArrangement.com, which he touts as "the world's largest Sugar Daddy-dating website." He swears the sugar daddies he caters to really are sexy and rich, and provides figures to counter those naysaying CU eggheads.
As we reported, "Who Marries Differently Aged Spouses? Ability, Education, Occupation, Earnings and Appearances" was penned by University of Colorado Denver assistant economics professor Hani Mansour and University of Colorado Boulder associate economics professor Terra McKinnish and published in the online Review of Economics and Statistics.
Mansour and McKinnish maintain in the study, on view below, that "in direct contrast to conventional wisdom and most economic models of marital age gaps," the majority of men and women who marry across a wide age gap "are negatively selected."
This last phrase means exactly what it seems. The authors state that "empirical results show lower cognitive ability, lower educational attainment, lower occupational wages, lower earnings, and less attractive appearance among those married to a differently aged spouse."
The profs offer plenty of data to back up their hypotheses, but the digits don't convince SeekingArrangement.com's Wade. He's issued a press release to dismiss the findings, which he maintains are "not reflective of the 'Sugar' community." He insists that the study fails to account for what he sees as two substantial factors: those who are wealthy and those who are single.
"The University of Colorado Denver's findings are based on the surveyed '99 percent,' not the '1 percent' of society that commonly becomes Sugar Daddies," he's quoted as saying. "In addition, the University based its findings on married couples, which is not definitive of a 'sugar' relationship. Only 33 percent of the Sugar Daddies on SeekingArrangement.com are married."
As for those who visit the site, here are some highlighted items of what's referred to as "The Sugar Daddy Truth," which we've helpfully photo-illustrated:
Average Sugar Daddy age: 39 years old.
Average age gap: Twelve years.
Average Annual Income: $273,301.
Average Monthly Sugar Baby Allowance: $5,100.
Percentage Married: 33 percent.
It's important to note that Wade isn't necessarily talking about sugar daddies in the broader sense -- just the ones using SeekingArrangement.com, whose membership is said to be at two million. And he stresses that most "sugar babies" (the site's favored term) aren't that interested in having a sugar daddy put a ring on it. As the release points out, the website touts "mutually beneficial arrangements," not formal vows.
"Mutually beneficial relationships are honest, open, and guarantee that both parties are satisfied," Wade's statement continues. "This is the most common union between both parties on our website, not marriage."
Here's the CU-related study.
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More from our Strange But True archive: "Sugar daddies and cougars: May-December couples seldom rich or hot, study says."