1. The word “cougar” has two meanings. The first is – a large American wild cat with a plain tawny to grayish coat, found from Canada to Patagonia. However, the second is probably what first comes to mind when one hears the word “cougar”. That definition is – an older woman seeking a sexual relationship with a younger man.

A true cougar is a woman who is forty years old or older who exclusively pursues younger men for fun, flings, or relationships.

2. The word “complex” has a number of meanings. The meaning used in “The Cougar Complex®” is a related group of emotionally significant ideas that are completely or partly repressed and that cause psychic conflict leading to abnormal mental states or behavior.

Oedipus complex, in psychoanalytic theory, a desire for sexual involvement with the parent of the opposite sex and a concomitant sense of rivalry with the parent of the same sex; a crucial stage in the normal developmental process. Sigmund Freud introduced the concept in his Interpretation of Dreams (1899). The term derives from the Theban hero Oedipus of Greek legend, who unknowingly slew his father and married his mother; its female analogue, the Electra complex, is named for another mythological figure, who helped slay her mother.

Freud attributed the Oedipus complex to children of about the ages three to five. He said the stage usually ended when the child identified with the parent of the same sex and repressed its sexual instincts. If previous relationships with the parents were relatively loving and nontraumatic, and if parental attitudes were neither excessively prohibitive nor excessively stimulating, the stage is passed through harmoniously. In the presence of trauma, however, there occurs an “infantile neurosis” that is an important forerunner of similar reactions during the child’s adult life. The superego, the moral factor that dominates the conscious adult mind, also has its origin in the process of overcoming the Oedipus complex. Freud considered the reactions against the Oedipus complex the most important social achievements of the human mind.


What does the phenomenon of young male adults of wishing to be with older women? I would imagine that a 30 year old male would look to date a 25 year old who is attractive and could become a lasting partner, produce children and start a family. I would surmise that these cougar-seeking young male adults have no interest in getting married or having children. I would expect that they have not been married, or if they were, they had no children and have no desire to reproduce. I can’t imagine this being a positive for our society. I expect this would be a good thing in China or India – countries with overpopulation issues. But in the United States, I don’t envision this as positive.

The birth rate in the United States has been declining for many years and has now hit a historic low. The birth rate declined for the sixth straight year in 2020, despite the pandemic and ample opportunity to conjugate with one’s partner. There is no consensus what this portends for our nation. A low birthrate would mean that as an aging workforce retires there would be a shortage of new workers and the impact on tax revenue could be significant.

Some countries, such as France and Japan, have pro-family policies to encourage couples to have children. The U.S still has more births than deaths, so the problems (if they even have economic impact) will not be with us for some years. Yet, why are millennials getting married later, if at all, and postponing children? And why are they attracted to women old enough to be their mother? This doesn’t seem like normative behavior. Are there common characteristics of these men that spurn their own age group and crave an older woman? This book is partly a study to determine if there is a typical cougar-seeking male. What made them have a “cougar complex”?